Sunday, February 5, 2017

Functions of nitrites as food additive

Nitrites are used as food preservatives and color enhancers, though they are so toxic they have caused deaths and combine with amines to produce carcinogens.

Nitrites and also nitrates are used as food additive, mainly in meat and meat products. Nitrite gives cured meat its characteristic color and flavor but more importantly, nitrites inhibit microbial growth, especially Clostridium botulinum.

Sodium nitrite will actually react with the myoglobin in meat and protect the red color for a long period on time. It is used in all processed meat products, which include: Vienna sausage, smoke-cured fish products, hot dogs, bacon, lunchmeats and canned meats.

It is generally accepted that approximately 40 fg/g nitrite is sufficient to attain and maintain a stable cure color, but considerably more nitrite has been regarded as necessary to inhibit growth of Clostridium botulinum, that amount being dependent on a combination of factors including the salt level, initial pH of the product, temperature of the presence of the chemical.
Functions of nitrites as food additive
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