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The Positive Role of Nitrite in Human Health

Sodium and/or potassium nitrite has experienced a very long and somewhat checkered history as a meat curing ingredient and preservative. The first use of meat curing for preserving meat was undoubtedly done with nitrate and occurred so long ago that it has been impossible to determine when it actually began. However, there is written evidence that the Greeks and Romans utilized saltpeter (nitrate) as a meat curing agent. The best estimates available suggest that nitrite and nitrate have been used for some 5,000 years to cure and preserve meat. It is believed that meat curing with nitrate was first discovered as a result of adding salt contaminated with saltpeter (potassium nitrate) to meat and observing that, in addition to improved preservation, a unique color and flavor resulted from this process. The bottom line is that this process has been around for a long, long time.... Read more