| email us |

Ingredients, Additives, Flavours & Extractives – Reference


Nitrates (saltpeter) and nitrites are the ‘curing’ agents in cured meats. The development of the red to pink cured colour is their most recognizable characteristic. Added functions of nitrates/nitrites are:

  • contribute to end product flavour and sensory qualities
  • inhibitor 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

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