General Uses of Sodium Metabisulfite

Sodium metabisulfite is a salt with a wide range of utilities. In fact, it is a drug on which many diverse and yet important industries are dependent. This is because of various qualities attributed to sodium metabisulfite industrial grade. There are three grades of sodium metabisulfite available in the market: food grade, technical grade and photo grade. Below are some industrial and non-industrial uses of the salt. It is interesting that in most industries like these, there aren’t any good alternatives to sodium metabisulfite, which makes this salt invaluable to the said industries.

Food Industry

Sodium Metabisulfite has preservative qualities: it is used in canned products to extend their shelf life. Other food industry uses of sodium metabisulfite include its use in treatment and pretreatment of dry fruits to prevent spoiling. It is also an important disinfectant and sterilizing agent used in wine industry. It is not only used by wineries to clean the bottles, but it is also added to concentrate juices. This prevents fungal or other growths in the fruit juice before it converts to wine.

Waste Water Treatment

Industrial waste has large concentrations and quantities of dangerous and potentially poisonous chemicals. These chemicals, when dumped as they are into the oceans will create environmental problems especially for the fish that live in these areas. Sodium metabisulfite fixes this problem because it detoxified quite a few industrial waster chemicals, especially cyanide. Chromate is a waste product of chromium plating and leather tanning industries. It is highly toxic and it is very soluble in water, but sodium metabisulfite absorbs and detoxifies this substance in waste water.

Textile Industry

Textile industry requires sodium metabisulfite in a lot of processes. It is on one hand used in the production of starch which is product that textile industry uses. On the other hand, sodium metabisulfite is also need to bleach fabrics. This bleaching action is relatively better imposing and more necessitated with wool and jute textiles.


Traditional darkroom photography requires sodium bisulfite. However, with more research and experiments, it is now assumed that sodium metabisulfite is indeed the more effective, substitute to the bisulfite salt. Its is required in dark room photography to prepare developer solution and to create acidifying fixing baths. With the advent of digital photography, this use may have diminished, but it is still an integral aspect of film photography.

Gold Mining

Gold miners have to dig deep into caves and digging sites. At these places, salts and compounds from the earth can dissolve with waters and create the area potentially toxic for humans. Sodium metabisulfite is a solution to this problem because it destroys cyanides. It is used in mines before the miners enter. The purpose is to purify and clean the air.

Using Format