If you are looking for Nitrite free deli meats, look no further! Dietz & Watson has over 75 varieites of Nitrite Free meats and ALL of our cheeses, condiments and compliments contain zero nitrites!
All of our chicken varieties are nitrite free, as are the majority of our turkey offerings and many of our roast beef varieties.
Sodium nitrite is a salt that is used to cure meats like ham, bacon, hot dogs and Italian specialties.
Nitrite serves a vital public health function… it blocks the growth of botulism-causing bacteria and prevents spoilage. Botulism is rare today because processing methods and preservatives like sodium nitrite are used to protect consumers. In fact, since sodium nitrite was approved for use in cured meats in 1925, no cases of botulism have been associated with cured meats. Therefore, sodium nitrite provides a food safety benefit to consumers.
Nitrite also gives cured meats their characteristic color and flavor. In addition, evidence indicates that nitrite can help prevent the growth of Listeria monocytogenes, an environmental bacterium that can cause illness in some at-risk populations.
Less than 5% of daily nitrite intake comes from cured meats. Nearly 93% of nitrite comes from vegetables and saliva. Vegetables contain nitrate, which is converted to nitrite when it comes into contact with saliva in the mouth. In fact, the amount of nitrate in some vegetables can be very high. Spinach, for example, contains 500 to 1900 parts per million of nitrate; radishes contain 1500 to 1800 parts per million and lettuce contains 600 to 1700 parts per million. The nitrate to nitrite conversion process from eating vegetables makes up 85% of the average human dietary nitrite intake.
By contrast, the amount of nitrite allowed by USDA to be added to cured meats is miniscule at no more than 156 parts per million. In most cases, the amount added is approximately 120 parts per million. Moreover, because nitrate dissipates in the curing process, the amount that remains in the final product is typically 10 parts per million or less. This amount is approximately one-fifth the level of 25 years ago.
There’s another source of nitrite in the body. Called the “Molecule of the Year” by Science Magazine in 1992, nitric oxide is an amazing chemical that the body uses to control blood pressure, kill tumors and infecting bacterial cells and heal wounds. When nitric oxide is done with its work, its by-products are nitrate and nitrite, which are excreted or recycled in the body through saliva. So clearly, nitrite is something that is made by the body as part of its normal, healthy processes.
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