Endogenous semicarbazide found in prawns and crabs
In the February 2016 issue of Food Additives & Contaminants, Xiaojun Zhanga and co-workers from Marine Fisheries Research Institute of Zhejiang Province, China reported the identification and occurrence of endogenous semicarbazide in prawns and crabs.
In the EU semicarbazide (SEM) which is a side-chain metabolite of the banned antibiotic drug nitrofurazone (NFZ) is employed as a conclusive marker for its illegal use. The finding of endogenous SEM support other recent studies showing that SEM in aquatic crustaceans can be derived natively or from other sources. This finding is significant and throws into question the use of SEM as a marker compound. Xiaojun Zhanga et al., propose that 5-nitro-2-furaldehyde (NF) could be used as a selective marker to differentiate between endogenous SEM and NFZ-derived SEM in seafood.