Time-dependent depletion of nitrite in pork/beef and chicken meat products and its effect on nitrite intake estimation
2016 (English)In: Food Additives & Contaminants, ISSN 1944-0049, E-ISSN 1944-0057, Vol. 33, no 2, 186-192 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
The food additive nitrite (E249, E250) is commonly used in meat curing as a food preservation method. Because of potential negative health effects of nitrite, its use is strictly regulated. In an earlier study we have shown that the calculated intake of nitrite in children can exceed the acceptable daily intake (ADI) when conversion from dietary nitrate to nitrite is included. This study examined time-dependent changes in nitrite levels in four Swedish meat products frequently eaten by children: pork/beef sausage, liver pate and two types of chicken sausage, and how the production process, storage and also boiling (e.g., simmering in salted water) and frying affect the initial added nitrite level. The results showed a steep decrease in nitrite level between the point of addition to the product and the first sampling of the product 24 h later. After this time, residual nitrite levels continued to decrease, but much more slowly, until the recommended use-by date. Interestingly, this continuing decrease in nitrite was much smaller in the chicken products than in the pork/beef products. In a pilot study on pork/beef sausage, we found no effects of boiling on residual nitrite levels, but frying decreased nitrite levels by 50%. In scenarios of time-dependent depletion of nitrite using the data obtained for sausages to represent all cured meat products and including conversion from dietary nitrate, calculated nitrite intake in 4-year-old children generally exceeded the ADI. Moreover, the actual intake of nitrite from cured meat is dependent on the type of meat source, with a higher residual nitrite levels in chicken products compared with pork/beef products. This may result in increased nitrite exposure among consumers shifting their consumption pattern of processed meats from red to white meat products.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 33, no 2, 186-192 p.
Exposure assessment, cured meat, nitrite, analysis, riskbenefit, validation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-298019DOI: 10.1080/19440049.2015.1125530ISI: 000374594200002PubMedID: 26743589OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-298019DiVA: diva2:1015084