Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hot dogs, sausage and bacon

Sodium nitrite, with chemical formula NaNO2, is used as a color fixative and preservative in meats and fish.
As a food additive, it serves a dual purpose in the food industry since it both alters the color of preserved fish and meats and also prevents growth of Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria which causes botulism. In the European Union it may be used only as a mixture with salt containing at most 0.6% sodium nitrite. It has the E number E250. Potassium nitrite (E249) is used in the same way.

While this chemical will prevent the growth of bacteria, it can be toxic for mammals. (LD50 in rats is 180 mg/kg.) For this reason, sodium nitrite sold as a food additive is dyed bright pink to avoid mistaking it for something else. Cooks and makers of charcuterie often simply refer to sodium nitrite as "pink salt".

Various dangers of using this as a food additive have been suggested and researched by scientists. A principal concern is the formation of carcinogenic N-nitrosamines by the reaction of sodium nitrite with amino acids in the presence of heat in an acidic environment. Sodium nitrite has also been linked to triggering migraines.[1]

Recent studies have found a link between high processed meat consumption and colon cancer, possibly due to preservatives such as sodium nitrite.[2][3]

Recent studies have also found a link between frequent ingestion of meats cured with nitrites and the COPD form of lung disease.[4]
Read more
Read why I posted this information
Read more
Post a Comment

I'm on Facebook too

I'm on Facebook too
Read a book today