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Risk Assessment of Sulphite Exposure through Foods Among Adolescents of Delhi (India)

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 7 ]


Arushi Jain* and Pulkit Mathur   Pages 685 - 693 ( 9 )


Background: Sulphites added as preservatives in food have been associated with adverse health effects in humans.

Objective: The present study was designed with an objective of assessing the risk of sulphite exposure through food in adolescents (12-16 years old) of Delhi, India.

Methods: A total of 1030 adolescents selected from four private and four government schools of Delhi, were asked to record their food intake using a 24 hour food record, repeated on three days, for assessing exposure to sulphites. The risk was assessed using six different scenarios of exposure.

Results: The actual intake for sulphites for average consumers was 0.15 ± 0.13 mg / kg b.w. / day which was 21.4% of acceptable daily intake (ADI). For high consumers (P95), it was 65% of the ADI. However, for 2 respondents, the actual intake exceeded the ADI. The major food contributors to sulphite intake were beverage concentrates (46%), ready to serve beverages (22%) followed by miscellaneous food items (16%), mainly ice creams and snowballs. Estimation of sulphite intake using different exposure scenarios revealed that for certain scenarios where the highest reported sulphite level or maximum permissible levels were considered for calculation, the high consumers exceeded the ADI, though, for average consumers, intake was well below the ADI.

Conclusion: Actual intake of sulphite for average consumers was well below the ADI but for high consumers was approaching the ADI. People with sulphite sensitivity need to be aware of hidden food sources of sulphites.


Acceptable daily intake, dietary exposure, food additive, hazard index, risk analysis, sulphite.


Department of Food and Nutrition, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, Delhi, Department of Food and Nutrition, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, Delhi

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