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Ingredients, Additives, Flavours & Extractives - Reference

These usage guidelines are for sodium nitrite levels.  Click here for more information on using Malabar’s SureCure.


Nitrates (saltpeter) and nitrites are the "curing" ingredients added to make a cured type of sausage. The development of the red or pink cured colour is their most recognizable effect. Added functions of nitrates/nitrites are:

  • to contribute to the characteristic flavour of cured meat
  • to inhibit growth of a number of food poisoning and spoilage microorganisms
  • to retard development of rancidity

Nitrate in itself is not effective in producing the curing reaction until it is first broken down into nitrite. This is a slow process and is usually dependent on bacterial action. Therefore, the use of nitrates is limited to the dry and semi-dry sausages. Nitrite alone should be used in rapidly processed meat products. Nitrites provide the ultimate source of the nitric oxide that combines with the myoglobin pigment of meat.


Nitrates: 2-3/4 (2.75) ounces per 100 lbs. of meat (dry or semi-dry sausages)
Nitrites: 1/5 (0.25) ounce per 100 lbs. of chopped meat
1 ounce to 100 lbs. meat (dry cure)
2 lbs. to 100 gallons pickle at 10% pump level



Questions? Contact our technical specialists
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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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Springer’s Meat Inc., Hamilton, ON

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