Simplified method for free SO2 measurement using gas detection tubes

Zachary Pegram, Misha T. Kwasniewski, Gavin L. Sacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The classic Monier-Williams method for free sulfur dioxide (SO2) measurement in wines was modified using inexpensive SO2detection tubes developed for the mining industry. An acidified wine sample was treated with an antacid tablet to evolve CO2in situ and the gas flow directed to a commercial SO2detection tube. The length of tube that changed color was proportional to the original free SO2concentration. Initial calibration of the tubes was performed in model wines using aeration-oxidation (A-O) as a reference method. Using a 20 mL sample, the SO2tube method achieved a linear response from 5 to 40 mg/L. Accuracy was evaluated by measuring free SO2concentrations in 16 wines (seven whites, nine reds) by both the SO2tube and A-O reference methods. Free SO2concentrations for individual wines measured by each method were within ±2 mg/mL and the RMSE was 0.89 mg/L. The limit of detection of the SO2tube method was 3.3 mg/L in wine. The SO2tube method has several advantages over A-O, including requiring less time per analysis and no specialized glassware or equipment. The major consumable cost is the detection tubes, which can be conserved in exchange for precision by using smaller sample sizes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-410
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Enology and Viticulture
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Horticulture


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