How to measure the amount of Sulphur Dioxide in Wine

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How to measure the amount of Sulphur Dioxide in Wine

Sulphur dioxide ( SO2) is used in food and drinks for it’s preserving and anti-oxidising properties. It was used back by the Romans in wine making, when they found that burning sulphur candles inside the empty wine vessels kept them fresh and free from the vinegar smell.

Nowadays Sulphur dioxide is used to preserve the colour, flavour and stability of the wine. As an antimicrobial SO2 interferes with the metabolic pathways of yeast and bacteria.


When SO2 is added to wine, a portion of it becomes immediately bound while a remaining portion is unbound SO2. The portion that is unbound is also called free SO2 and it is responsible for protecting the wine. The bound and free SO2 together are referred to as total SO2.

Free SO2 exists in two forms. The first form, bisulfite (HSO3-), is the predominant form but is relatively ineffective. The second form, molecular SO2, is the minor form and is responsible for protecting the wine. The amount of molecular SO2 available in wine is dependent upon the amount of free SO2 present and the pH. Typically 0.8 ppm of molecular SO2 provides adequate protection against bacteria growth and oxidation.


The Hanna Sulfur Dioxide Mini Titrator makes testing for sulfur dioxide in wine simple, fast and accurate using the Ripper method. This meter has many features including:

  • Ready made reagents and titrants so no need for an analytical balance or laboratory glassware
  • Piston driven dosing system for precise control over the automatic dosing of titrant
  • Specialized ORP electrode with CPS Technology to prevent clogging from solids found in wine juice and must
  • Logging and USB connection for data management
  • Tutorial mode for step by step instruction when performing a titration

There aren’t many steps to getting your sulphur dioxide measurement; priming the pump, calibrating the titrator, adding 2 reagents to a 50ml sample of wine, adding a stir bar into your sample and lowering into the titrator with the dosing tip secured and following the on-screen instructions.


For more information on sulphur dioxide or wine testing please get in touch with one our technical support on 01954 233 120, email us on or fill in the below form and we’ll get in touch.

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