A study by the University of Western Australia has found that sulphur dioxide could actually have a positive effect on a grape berry’s composition.
The chemical is used widely in winemaking worldwide for a variety of purposes, and is very much bête-noire of the burgeoning natural wine movement, which considers it unnecessary.
Assistant professor Michael Considine at the university told Decanter.com, ‘The exciting thing is that sulphur dioxide increases the antioxidant levels and antifungal levels in the berry to improve its own defense responses. It primes the plant to help itself.’
Considine admitted there was ‘irrefutable evidence that sulphur dioxide has ill-health effects on humans’ including skin and respiratory problems.