NITRATES & NITRITES

E249 E250 E251 E252

Synthetically, nitrates and nitrites are widely used as an additive/preservatives, antimicrobial agent, colour fixative and flavouring in cured and processed meats – retaining its pink colour.  Without the additive, the meats such as bacon or hot dogs would look grey.

Adverse reactions to nitrates & nitrites are wide and varied, totally depending on the person and their tolerance level. Ingestion also leads to the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines.

Naturally, Nitrates are naturally found in many vegetables. (Plants take nitrate in the soil as a nitrogen source for the formation of proteins.  Protein production occurs as a result of photosynthesis but when light levels fall, the rate of photosynthesis decreases and nitrate accumulates in cell fluids and sap.)

Therefore, the amount of nitrate in certain vegetables may vary significantly depending on; geographical region, use of fertilizers and exposure to light.

Cooking has been shown to decrease the concentration of nitrate in foods, dependent on the cooking technique used. Eg; boiling, baking or frying - see link for further info: www.sciencedirect.com

Fruit generally contains much less nitrate than vegetables.

Nitrates can also be found in beer & drinking water:

  • nitrates in soil, mainly from nitrogenous fertilizers for barley and hop crops used for beer 
  • nitrates in the soil dissipate into the drinking water and accumulate there

Vegetables

(High in natural Nitrates)

Meat, Poultry, Fish & Dairy

Additives:

Beetroot

Broccoli

Cabbage

Carrot

Cauliflower

Celery

Collard greens

Corn

Cucumbers

Kale

Lettuce

Parsley

Radish

Spinach

Squash

Turnip

Bacon

Cologna

Cheese (esp smoked)

Processed chicken

Corned beef

Fermented sausage

Fish (esp smoked)

Frankfurters

Ham

Hot dogs

Luncheon meats

Pork

Salami

Sausage

Smoked meat

Spam

Potassium nitrite E249

Sodium nitrite E250

Sodium nitrate E251

Potassium nitrate E252

 

 

Also in:

Drinking water

Beer

Cigarettes

Matches

The following list is only a guide:

www.sciencedirect.com

www.sciencedirect.com

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov