Dried Fruit and Sulfites

Dried Fruit and Sulfites
Time and again, we hear that you don't have a sulfite sensitivity if you can eat dried apricots. Unfortunately, this myth is so ingrained in people's minds that we encourage you to google dried apricots and sulfites, and you will see well-intentioned article after article. The fact is you can eat any dried fruit treated with sulfites and be fine while getting a reaction to drinking wine with sulfites.

The critical bit of information is how those sulfites present themselves in these two different items. First, dried fruit will be solid while wine will be liquid (no surprise there) which has consequences for digesting these items. When sulfites are added to dried apricots, for example, they are only attached to the surface of that fruit. That surface is also exposed to air which can alter them due to oxidation over time. Suppose the sulfites remain bound to the dried fruit when eaten. In that case, they will eventually get neutralized by your stomach acid or enzymes in your digestive tract and are incapable of causing 'sulfite' reactions.

Additionally, the sulfites in wine are not bound but instead take one of three forms attached (to sugars acetaldehyde or tannins), bisulfite anions (HSO-3), or molecular sulfites (SO2). The molecular sulfites, commonly called the 'free' sulfites, act as the preservative because they can quickly bid compounds susceptible to oxidation or compounds caused by oxidation. Unfortunately, free sulfites can also cross the mucosal layer in our mouth and get into our bloodstream quickly, and it is here that they can cause adverse side effects. Not only that, but free sulfites can inactivate certain enzymes, which can amplify their adverse effects even further.

So the quick sip on dried fruit and sulfites is something you can forget about. Dried fruits do have sulfites, but their form and how our bodies process them are different from the free sulfites in wine. As always, we believe the best way to enjoy wine is sulfite and histamine-free so that whatever the myth is, you know you can enjoy the wine you are drinking without having to worry about the negative consequences of sulfites.