Want a little dose of meetha after every meal? Can't think of kick-starting your day without a cup of coffee with lots of sugar? As much as we love these white crystals which makes our day a whole lot better, one needs to regulate not only how much sugar one has but also which sugar one buys! Yes, you read it right. Your usual table sugar might contain a high amount of Sulphur Dioxide that can cause severe harm to your health. But what exactly is sulphur dioxide? And how can it harm us?
Sulphur dioxide is a food preservative that is used to extend the shelf life of food, like dried fruits, wine, pickled food, soft drinks, and sugar. In the sugar industry, it is commonly used as a cheap alternative for refining sugar. Expensive branded sugars use more modern techniques, while the traditional buyers of loose sugar take home sugar laced with sulphur.
A telltale sign of sugar containing sulphur is - it becomes yellow over time. Typically, sugar is all manufactured during october-february in India, and it may all look same initially, but give it a few months and you notice that brands like Madhur Sugar remain white while the loose sugar looks distinctly yellowish!
Side Effects Of Sulphur In Sugar
Studies have stated that sulphur dioxide shunts the growth of beneficial gut bacteria resulting in stomach discomfort or diarrhea. It can also severely impact your immune system and make you prone to common cold and flu.
According to several reports and medical journals, consumption of sulphur-laced food can cause a lot of discomfort for patients suffering from asthma. Symptoms like sneezing, sore throat, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and suffocation can become life-threatening for such people.
Apart from this, the consumption of this chemical has multiple other ill-effects on our health:
- It can cause severe airway obstruction that can lead to respiratory diseases like bronchitis and asthma
- May cause pneumonia
- Consuming sulphur dioxide with water can form sulphurous acid which inhibits mucociliary transport
- Asthmatic patients may experience allergic reactions like wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, etc
Production Of Sulphur-Free Sugar
In India, sugar is refined using the double sulphitation method which makes it unhealthy for consumption. Responsible brands like Madhur Sugar, on the other hand, are refined without using sulphur or other harmful chemicals, and is, therefore, a better choice.
A Quick 3-Step Quality Check For Your Sugar
- Take a glass of water and add 3 tsp of sugar in it
- Heat & Stir the solution until the sugar completely dissolves into the water
- Inspect the solution with a magnifying glass. If it changes colour or the solution turns pale yellow, your sugar contains sulphur.
Easy Ways To Avoid Consumption Of Food That Has Sulphur
To avoid sulphur-laced food, choose natural sweeteners like honey, stevia, jaggery, and maple sugar. You can also choose Madhur Sugar that gives you sugar that has been refined using a sulphur-free process and is absolutely pure and healthy for consumption.
Note - This is Brand Desk content