Is there a link between shrimps and sodium sulfite?

The consumption of shrimp that has added sodium sulfite is considered potentially dangerous to the health. Throughout the years, individuals all over the world have utilized sulfites to preserve various beverages and foods. Individuals who handle shrimp utilize sulfites for preservation. If an individual is highly sensitive or allergic to shellfish, a doctor should be consulted.

Overview on sodium sulfite

Always bear in mind that preservatives prevent the growth of detrimental microorganism as well as delays early spoilage of food so that they appear and taste fresh. The preservatives used such as sodium bisulfite, sodium sulfite as well as sodium metabisulfite are included in the family of sulfites that possess antioxidant properties that various food manufacturers add to various beverages and foods to prevent oxidation. This is a chemical process that is responsible for spoiling the food. The foods and beverages in which sodium sulfite is added include potatoes, shellfish, vinegar, dried fruit, beer, fruit juice and wine.

Sodium sulfite

Individuals who are diagnosed with asthma can experience life-threatening reactions after exposure to sulfites in shrimps.

Can shrimp trigger a reaction?

The procedures carried out on shrimp include the addition of sodium bisulfite to maintain the quality of the product. Always bear in mind that food safety is not a main concern among shrimp handlers since shrimp does not normally contain toxins, not eaten raw and any harmful microorganisms are eliminated during cooking.

Always bear in mind that sodium bisulfite hinders an enzyme present in shrimp that triggers melanosis or black spots which involve darkening of pigments in the membranes and meat below the shell that makes the product appear unappealing. The shrimp farmers immerse the bags of shrimp into a mixture of sodium bisulfite to preserve their healthy appearance.

Sulfite sensitivity

Sulfites can destroy vitamin B1 in foods and increases health risks among certain individuals who are sensitive to the preservative. Food manufacturers are required to indicate the presence of sulfites on their products.

The FDA prohibits the use of sulfites on fresh vegetables and fruits but allowed in other foods as long as declared on the labels. When used on shrimps, the FDA limits the amount of sulfite residue to 100 parts per million.

Issues with asthma

Individuals who are diagnosed with asthma can experience life-threatening reactions after exposure to sulfites in shrimps. The symptoms can range from minor wheezing to anaphylaxis which is a severe, life-threatening reaction that is characterized by anxiety, difficulty breathing, confusion and fainting. Most of the reactions occur after inhalation of sulfur dioxide generated from foods or beverages that contain sulfite while eating.


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