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Ingredients, Additives, Flavours & Extractives - Reference


The maximum level of use for nitrite in Canada for cured meats (except side bacon) is 200 ppm input (or 0.32 oz/100lbs or 0.0200%) to the total raw formulation weight (before cooking, smoking, etc.) For side bacon, the maximum level of use for nitrite is 120 ppm input (or 0.19oz/100 lbs or 0.0120%) to the total raw formulation weight.

What is a ppm?

1 ppm means 1 part in one million parts.

It can be expressed also as any of the following:

  • 0.000001
  • 0.0001%
  • 1 gram per 1000 kg

Therefore 200 ppm can also be expressed in the following ways:

  • 0.000200
  • 0.0200%
  • 200 grams per 1000 kg
  • 20 grams per 100 kg
  • 2 grams per 10 kg

Processors do not add nitrite directly to formulations.

Instead, Malabar Sure Cure or cure compounds (i.e. Prague Powder) are used as a source of nitrite.

In Canada, Prague powder or cure compound generally contains 6.25% nitrite and 93.75% sodium chloride (salt). (Some cures contain as little as 1% nitrite, so check with your supplier.) The salt added to cure compounds allows for easier (and more accurate) weighing and better dispersion, and prevents a possible fatal overdose of nitrite, if too much cure is accidentally added, due to the unacceptable "salty" taste.

A straightforward approach to determining the level of nitrite in meat products, using Debrecziner Wieners as an example, consists of the following three steps:

  1. Determine total raw formulation weight
    The total raw formulation weight for Debrecziner wieners was previously calculated to be 100 kg.

  2. Determine percentage of Sure Cure or cure compound in formulation.

    % Sure Cure      =      wt. Sure Cure X 100
    Total raw formulation wt.
    % Sure Cure      =      0.3 kg X 100
    % Sure Cure in
    Debrecziner Wieners:
      =   (0.3 kg / 100 kg) X 100 = 0.30%

  3. Calculate nitrite content in product.

    % Nitrite      =      6.25% X % of Sure Cure
    % Nitrite in
    Debrecziner Wieners:
         =      6.25 / 100 X 0.30
        =   0.01875 %
        =   0.0001875 or 187.5 ppm

The input of 187.5 ppm of nitrite to the raw formulation is within government legal limits for sausage.

Nitrite Usage Levels

For most applications the mandatory level of nitrite/nitrate is a maximum of 200 ppm as nitrite

   Maximum Allowed Recommended Levels
Cooked Sausages 200 ppm 150-180 ppm
Ham, Corned Beef 200 ppm 150-180 ppm
Dry & Semi Dry Sausages 200 ppm 100-150 ppm
Bacon 120 ppm 120 ppm

For Fast Curing & Best Colour Retention For All Cured Meats.

Using Sure Cure in Sausage Production: Bologna, Kolbassa, Wieners, and Jagdwurst.

For every 100 lbs. of emulsion use 4-5 oz (115-140 g) Sure Cure plus 1.6 lb salt, 5 oz (140 g) of Dextrose sugar and 2 oz (57) g sodium erythorbate.

For 100 kg of emulsion use 250-315 g of Sure Cure plus 1.6 kg salt, 300 g Dextrose sugar and 125 g sodium erythorbate.

Using Sure Cure for Pickle (Curing & Pumping Brine):

Product Pump 10% Pump 20% Pump 30%
Salt 17.5 kg 17 lb 8 oz 9.6 kg 9 lbs 10 oz 7.0 kg 7 lbs
Sure Cure 3.5 kg 3 lbs 8 oz 1.9 kg 1 lb 14 oz 1.4 kg 1 lb 6 oz
Sodium Erythorbate 150 g 2.5 oz 85 g 1.4 oz 60 g 1 oz
Dextrose sugar 4.75 g 4 lb 12 oz 2.6 kg 2 lb 10 oz 1.85 kg 1 lb 14 oz
Water 74.1 litres 74 lb 2 oz 85.8 litres 85 lb 13 oz 89.7 litres 89 lb 11 oz
Total Pickle 100 litres 10 gallons 100 litres 10 gallons 100 liters 10 gallons

Stir pickle well. Use Brine Tester for accuracy.
Needle-inject (pump) meat with this pickle, percent by weight.
Finish with tumbling process or soak in cover brine if desired.

Ingredients: Salt, Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Bicarbonate, Glycerine.

To the best of our knowledge, the above information is accurate and reliable, and is offered solely for consideration and assistance without any warranty or guarantee.


Questions? Contact our technical specialists
@ 1-888-456-6252, or at info@malabarsuperspice.com.
We’re here to help!

In This Section
Ingredients, Additives, Flavours & Extractives
Reference Pages
More About… Sodium/Potassium Nitrites And Nitrates
Meat Processing Additives & Binders
Recommended Cooked Sausage Ingredient Levels
Using Lactic Acid Starter Culture
Phosphates In Meat Processing
Malabar Sure Cure
Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Ascorbate, and Ascorbic Acid
Nitrite Levels

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