Nitrite in Cured Meat Products
Sodium nitrite is a salt and an anti-oxidant. Salt (sodium chloride or table salt) containing some sodium nitrate and lesser amounts of sodium nitrite as impurities was used by the ancient Egyptians and Romans as well as the early Europeans to preserve meat. From these early experiences evolved products such as hams, bacon, sausages, bologna, salami and pepperoni.
Today, the use of sodium nitrite is acknowledged by regulatory authorities around the world as an important contributor to food safety. In addition, a rapidly expanding body of scientific research is demonstrating that the advantages of nitrite extend well beyond food safety to include a diverse and critical array of potent benefits for human health.
For additional information, please consult Know Your Nitrites website.