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Sodium Nitrate

Alternate Names

Sodium Nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite

Description

Salt and potassium that is used as a color corrector in cured meats. It also helps prevent the growth of microorganisms. Used primarily in the curing process of meats.

Sodium Nitrate - Quick Stats
Names

Sodium Nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrite

Allergy Information

Uses

Flavoring, Coloring, Preservative

E-Number

E251

Additional Information

Occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables due to fertilization with nitrate fertilizers. The heavy use of farm fertilization has also caused nitrate to be a contaminant found in groundwater. It is highly toxic in high amounts. The main concern with this additive is that when heated, it can form carcinogenic nitrosamines. For this reason, Vitamin C and E is now required to help inhibit the nitrosamines. Some animal studies indicate that it does cause cancer and there is much debate as to if nitrates and nitrites cause cancer in humans.



Found In

cured meats, sausage, bacon, hot dogs, smoke meats, smoked fish

Possible Health Effects

headaches, nausea, lung disease (COPD). Cancers in animal studies.

Allergy Information

Unknown

Online Resources/Related

Print Resources



Copyright May 20, 2010 Be Food Smart, Updated November 18, 2010




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