Estimate of intake of sulfites in the Belgian adult population

Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2010 Aug;27(8):1072-83. doi: 10.1080/19440041003754506.


An exposure assessment was performed to estimate the usual daily intake of sulfites in the Belgian adult population. Food consumption data were retrieved from the national food consumption survey. In a first step, individual food consumption data were multiplied with the maximum permitted use levels for sulfites, expressed as sulphur dioxide, per food group (Tier 2). In a second step, on the basis of a literature review of the occurrence of sulfites in different foods, the results of the Tier 2 exposure assessment and available occurrence data from the control programme of the competent authority, a refined list of foods was drafted for the quantification of sulphite. Quantification of sulphite was performed by a high-performance ion chromatography method with eluent conductivity detector in beers and potato products. Individual food consumption data were then multiplied with the actual average concentrations of sulfite per food group, or the maximum permitted levels in case actual levels were not available (partial Tier 3). Usual intakes were calculated using the Nusser method. The mean intake of sulfites was 0.34 mg kg(-1) bw day(-1) (Tier 2), corresponding to 49% of the acceptable daily intake (ADI) and 0.19 mg kg(-1) bw day(-1), corresponding to 27% of the ADI (partial Tier 3). The food group contributing most to the intake of sulfites was wines. The results showed that the intake of sulfites is likely to be below the ADI in Belgium. However, there are indications that high consumers of wine have an intake around the ADI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholic Beverages / analysis*
  • Algorithms
  • Belgium
  • Calibration
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Food Analysis*
  • Food Preservatives / administration & dosage*
  • Food Preservatives / analysis*
  • Food Preservatives / standards
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Sulfites / administration & dosage*
  • Sulfites / analysis*
  • Wine / analysis
  • Young Adult


  • Food Preservatives
  • Sulfites