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What Are Sulphites and why are they used?

Please note this information has been sourced from the internet and this is my interpretation of what sulphites are and why they are used.

Mahorall Farm Cider do not ADD sulphites during the cidermaking process. We cannot however guarantee that our cider does not contain any trace of sulphite which has naturally occurred during the process.

The addition of sulphites in drink products are not well advertised and the cold hard facts of this additive (ie how much has been used) is sometimes unclear. Many ciders and wines contain sulphites /sulphur dioxide. It may be the case that you have never had a 'pure' cider or wine at all!

Why are Sulphites used?

Using sulphites in food and drink products are to eliminate any unwanted 'living things'. In cider making it is one method to kill the natural yeast that is naturally present in the apple juice.

An added yeast that has been cultured is then added to create a more standardised product and reduces the risk of spoilage and waste for the producer. If you look carefully on the label next time you pour some cider or wine into a glass - it will usually state that Sulphites have been added. Occaisionally it will say 'for freshness' but this I think is a veiled attempt to simply say that an artificial additive. It also will not state how much sulphite has been added. This could be anything from 10mg/litre to 450mg/litre.

We are proud to use the natural yeasts as that is quite simply how cider should be naturally made. We add no sulphites or preservatives to any of our ciders. In order to extend the shelf life of our glass bottled sparkling ciders we pasterise and then filter the cider to remove any traces of the yeast which might start working again. If there were any traces of yeast that was still present it may begin to start to ferment again. There would be then a chance that when a customer opened a bottle it might be extra fizzy or might even blow the bottle. By filtering the cider not only does it make the cider a more bright colour but it removes the yeast and pasteurisation is just is an extra precaution that we take.

Our traditional still cider range is NOT filtered or pasteurised. These ciders are either dispensed in plastic bottles or flexible bag in box containers. The screw cap on the plastic bottles are designed for a slow release of pressure as they are undone.

So what are the negative effects of sulphites?


Well it certainly looks as if we all have had sulphites as part of our diet for quite some time now. It is not something that requires undue worry unless you of course are prone to a reaction and for most people it is very unlikely that you will suffer any adverse effects.

We however think it is nice to produce a naturally made product as cider should be free from artificial additives for people to enjoy!


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