The main objective of this work is to evaluate the use of sulphites in crustacean sector. Sulphites are additives used by professionals to prevent melanosis in crustaceans. The study was based on data analysis of the notifications of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), surveys with shipowners (n=27) and two packing companies as well as the determination of residual SO2 content in 22 samples by the two methods, the Monier Williams (official method) and the strips technique. The analysis of RASFF data between 1981 and 2015 revealed that crustaceans accounted for 8.7 % of notifications concerning fishery products and that sulphites were the main reason. The results of surveys showed that the use of sulfiting agents is a common practice in the crustacean sector. Professionals use sulphite preparations at a rate of 2 % and its use is strictly controlled by veterinary services. The sulphite content found by the official method ranged from 7 to 280 ppm with an average of 64.3 ppm. The strips technique yielded accurate values for low levels (<50 ppm) and mixed results for high levels. A risk assessment showed that the daily amount of sulphite, of all origins, a 60 kg adult consumer can safely ingest is 42 mg. The amount of SO2 obtained in a 200 g portion, based on the average, was 12.9 mg, which constitutes 30.7% of the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI). Crustaceans analyzed are thus free of any risk to the consumer. The conformity of almost all the samples confirmed the relevance of co-regulation in controlling the health risk of sulphites.

Keywords: Crustacean, sulphites, analysis, risk, sulphite, use of sulfiting agents, co-regulation, Morocco.