Constipated in Australia? Grab a glass of wine!
The Australian government has recently approved the use of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose in wine, a chemical usually used for its laxative properties.
Why on earth would you want a known laxative in your wine?
Apparently, food scientists have discovered that it can be used to stabilize and thicken beverages and foods in small doses. More specifically for winemakers, it can prevent crystallization and cloudiness in white and sparkling varieties.
"Use of the additive to stabilize wine and sparkling wine is technologically justified and would be expected to provide benefits to wine producers and consumers as an alternative to current treatments."
The chemical has NOT been approved for use in American wines. However, a spokesperson for the Wine Institute, the trade group for California's wine industry, doesn't see any harm in using it, saying:
"I don't think the levels that are approved for use in wine in the EU and Australia will give that laxative effect."
Guess we'll have to wait and find out ourselves because, although not legal for U.S. winemakers, an international trade agreement allows the importation of wine with the additive.