Sriracha sauce is a tasty hot sauce which originated in Thailand. It was introduced to the United States in the early 1980’s and has increased in popularity over the years. It is now being added to everything from soup to, yes, nuts. Even Subway has latched onto its popularity and now has a Sriracha Chicken melt.
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More people are eating spicy foods and hot sauces, which is great. However, did you know that the most common brand of Sriracha sauce manufactured by Huy Fong Foods’, contains 2 preservatives? It’s bottle lists the ingredients: “Chili, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled vinegar, potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite and xanthan gum.”
As discussed in a previous post, What is in Yogurt?, potassium sorbate is an unhealthy preservative and so is sodium bisulfite. Rats given large doses of sodium metabisulfite show signs of brain damage and decreased learning ability.
The amazing thing is that Sriracha sauce may have a long shelf life without the preservatives because of the naturally acidic component of the product. There are a number of hot chili sauce alternatives available without preservatives; you just need to look for them, or if you are a diehard Sriracha user you can make one yourself. Made from the base ingredients of fresh red chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt, homemade chili sauces can be bottled or jarred and have a reasonable shelf life. But with how good your homemade Sriracha sauce will taste, it won’t likely last long. To help you out I’ve included a link to one recipe that you might like.
Recipe for Home-made Sriracha Sauce:
Here is a link to an organic Sriracha sauce without the unnatural preservatives, Sodium Bisulfite and Potassium Sorbate:
Sodium bisulfite is part of a larger group of sulfites including potassium bisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, sodium sulfite, and sulfur dioxide.
It has been shown that curcumin, which is the main part of turmeric, might have protective effects on the brain to the damage caused by sulfites.
Here is some evidence:
The following study demonstrates the negative effects on the stomach linings of rats.
The FDA states here that increased levels of ingestion may not be safe with this group of sulfites:
“There is no evidence in the available information on potassium bisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, sodium sulfite, and sulfur dioxide that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when they are used at levels that are now current and in the manner now practiced. However, it is not possible to determine, without additional data, whether a significant increase in consumption would constitute a dietary hazard.”
One study in rats has shown an apparent significant health risk when sulfites are administered to rats with high cholesterol.
Action Item: Avoid all sulfites added to your food. Look for spicy sauces that do not contain unhealthy or questionable preservatives.