2011 Sodium Nitrite Paper


April 26, 2020


Meat and poultry curing is one of the oldest forms of food preservation still in use today. Before the advent of refrigeration, fish and meat were preserved by methods found effective to control spoilage after animal harvest and to extend food supplies during times of scarcity. Although lost in antiquity, the curing process for meats is believed to have derived from preservation methods with salt as early as 3,000 B.C. (Romans et al., 2001). Over time, the realization that salt contaminated with saltpeter (potassium nitrate) was responsible for curing, would unknowingly provide the basis for the beginnings of unraveling the mystery of curing.

With the development of refrigeration and food packaging technologies, the original purpose of curing highly perishable foods for preservation purposes has been widely replaced with creating convenience and variety for consumers (Pegg, 2004). The meat and poultry industry has greatly benefited from the use of sodium nitrite by allowing for the production of products with improved food safety and an extended shelf-life with excellent storage stability (Pegg and Shahidi, 2000). In fact, many of today’s processed meat products that are most enjoyed by


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