Asthma and Phosphates in Wine- Foodchem- Food additives supplier Home News Industry News
Asthma and Phosphates in Wine- Foodchem- Food additives supplier

Asthma is a chronic lung condition that is related to allergies in some people, although there are also a number of environmental triggers for asthma. Untreated asthma might cause loss of lung function, and a severe asthma attack can be fatal. Wine might cause or worsen the symptoms of an asthma attack, but there is no evidence that the phosphates in wine are responsible for asthma symptoms.


Asthma occurs when the muscles that surround the airways become tight and the airways themselves become inflamed. The combination of muscle spasm and inflammation causes narrowing of the airways. The mucosa, or lining, of the airways becomes swollen and irritated, while lung secretions increase. A severe acute asthma attack, also called status asthmaticus, is a life-threatening condition with extreme shortness of breath, a fast pulse, sweating and even a blue tinge to the skin because a lack of oxygen in the tissues.


Phosphates act as food additives are derived from the mineral phosphorus and are used in a wide variety of applications. Calcium phosphates are used as leavening agents, dicalcium phosphate is used in toothpaste and sodium tripolyphosphate is an ingredient in dishwashing detergent. Phosphates are used in wine making to promote the fermentation process. Jack B. Keller, a winemaker and president of the San Antonio Wine Guild, notes that yeast must be fed to ferment grape juice into wine. The basic nitrogen source for feeding the yeast used in wine making is diammonium phosphate.


Wine is a known trigger for asthma in some people, according to an article published in the October 2001 issue of “Thorax.” Sulfites, which are naturally produced during the wine-making process and may also be added by vintners as a preservative (Foodchem), have been thought to be the primary source of asthma attacks in wine-sensitive people. However, the researchers found that only a small number of the wine-sensitive patients responded to a single dose of sulfites when tested. There is no evidence that phosphates in general or phosphates in wine can cause asthma or trigger asthma attacks.

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