In the work described here, a biosensor was developed for the determination of sulfite in food. Malva vulgaris tissue homogenate containing sulfite oxidase enzyme was used as the biological material. M. vulgaris tissue homogenate was crosslinked with gelatin using glutaraldehyde and fixed on a pretreated Teflon membrane. Sulfite was enzymatically converted to sulfate in the presence of the dissolved oxygen, which was monitored amperometrically. Sulfite determination was carried out by standard curves, which were obtained by the measurement of consumed oxygen level related to sulfite concentration. Several operational parameters had been investigated: the amounts of plant tissue homogenate and gelatin, percentage of glutaraldehyde, optimum pH and temperature. Also, some characterization studies were done. There was linearity in the range between 0.2 and 1.8 mM at 35degreesC and pH 7.5. The results of real sample analysis obtained with the biosensor agreed well with the enzymatic reference method using spectrophotometric detection. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.