Is E221 Halal or Haram?

featured - Is E221 Halal or Haram

E221, commonly known as Sodium Sulfite, is a prevalent ingredient in various food and industrial products. But the burning question for many is, “Is E221 Halal?” Let’s embark on a journey to uncover the mysteries of E221.

Key Takeaways

📌 What is E221? E221, or Sodium Sulfite, is a chemical used in various products, including food and industrial processes. It’s a white, soluble powder and acts as an antioxidant and preservative.
📌 Is E221 Halal? Yes, E221 is considered halal because it doesn’t come from forbidden sources in Islamic dietary practices, and it’s processed in a way that aligns with Halal guidelines.
📌 Possible Side Effects: While E221 is generally safe, some people might be sensitive to it and experience symptoms like itching or difficulty breathing. If you suspect an allergy, it’s wise to consult a healthcare professional.

What is E221?

E221, or Sodium Sulfite, is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Na2SO3. It appears as a white, water-soluble solid and is commercially used as an antioxidant and preservative.

Beyond its commercial applications, Sodium Sulfite plays a pivotal role in the pulping and refining processes of wood and lignocellulosic materials. A heptahydrate form of Sodium Sulfite is also known, but it’s less popular due to its susceptibility to oxidation by air.

Chemical Structure

The chemical formula for Sodium Sulfite is Na2SO3. It’s a simple compound, but its applications are vast and varied.

What Is E221 Made From?

Sodium Sulfite can be produced by treating a solution of sodium hydroxide with sulfur dioxide. When this reaction is conducted in warm water, Sodium Sulfite initially precipitates as a white solid.

With an increased presence of SO2, the solid dissolves, forming the disulfite, which crystallizes upon cooling. Industrially, Sodium Sulfite is manufactured by treating sulfur dioxide with a solution of sodium carbonate.

Possible Side Effects

While Sodium Sulfite is generally considered safe for consumption, some individuals might be allergic or sensitive to sulfites, leading to symptoms like hives, itching, or difficulty breathing. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect an allergy.

Regulations and Guidelines

Sodium Sulfite is primarily used in the pulp and paper industry. Its applications extend to the thermomechanical conversion of wood to fibers, especially in the production of medium-density fibreboards (MDF). As an oxygen scavenger, it’s employed to treat water for steam boilers to prevent corrosion issues.

Dosage and Administration

The dosage and administration of Sodium Sulfite largely depend on its intended use. For instance, in the Wellman–Lord process, Sodium Sulfite is utilized for flue gas desulfurization.

Is E221 Halal or Haram?

The Halal status of E221, like many other food additives, depends on its source and how it’s produced. The good news is that E221 is considered halal because it is sourced from non-animal origins, and its processing does not involve elements that are forbidden (haram) according to Shari’a law.

However, it’s always best to consult with a Halal certification agency or knowledgeable scholars in the field.

Find out more:
Is E220 Halal or Haram?
Is E222 Halal or Haram?


E221, or Sodium Sulfite, is a versatile compound with a myriad of applications. Whether it’s Halal or not depends on its source and production methods. As consumers, it’s crucial to stay informed and make choices that align with our beliefs and health considerations.

Allahu A’lam (Allah Knows Best)


What is the source of E221?

E221, Sodium Sulfite, can be produced by treating sodium hydroxide with sulfur dioxide or by treating sulfur dioxide with sodium carbonate.

Is E221 safe for consumption?

Generally, E221 is considered safe. However, some individuals might be allergic or sensitive to sulfites.

What are some common food products that contain E221?

Sodium Sulfite is used as a preservative in dried fruits, meats, and is also found in some wines.

What is the CAS number of E221?

The CAS number for Sodium Sulfite is 7757-83-7.

Is E221 banned in any country?

While Sodium Sulfite is approved for use in many countries, its usage levels and regulations might vary. It’s essential to check local regulations and guidelines.

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