Sodium Nitrate Nitrite
Sodium Nitrate (Nitrite) Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite are both salts used as preservatives in processed meats. Sodium Nitrate, NaNO3, is used as a food preservative because of its anti-microbial properties so food stays fresher longer. It is also used broadly as a fertilizer and in the late 19th century was used in the manufacturing of gunpowder. There is controversy of its use because it can produce nitrosamines, which cause cancer, when food with sodium nitrate is cooked at high heat. Sodium Nitrite, NaNO2 , is chemically similar to Sodium Nitrate, and is used to sustain coloring and preserve freshness in meats and fish. Without the coloring, hot dogs would get a grayer color over time. Sodium Nitrite is also found in dyeing, printing, and bleaching textile fabrics, coating metals, and manufacturing rubber chemicals. Over-consumption of sodium nitrate can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Nitrates are naturally occuring in cauliflower, spinach, and other vegetables as well. Tufts, Veronique Von. "What Is the Diference between Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate?" Edinformatics -- Education for the Information Age. Web. 16 May 2011.