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
(High in natural Nitrates)
Meat, Poultry, Fish & Dairy
Cheese (esp smoked)
Fish (esp smoked)
Potassium nitrite E249
Sodium nitrite E250
Sodium nitrate E251
Potassium nitrate E252
The following list is only a guide: