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Material Safety Data Sheet

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Detection of nitrite in cured meat
with QUANTOFIX® Nitrite

In Europe many meat products like ham and smoked pork chop are cured. Curing is a process to preserve meat and sausages by addition of common salt. The meat develops a typical curing taste and becomes red in color. This process is important to avoid a grey coloration and a growth of microorganisms.
But by the reaction of nitrite with amino acids, carcinogenic nitrosamines might be formed.
Therefore it is important to minimize the concentration of nitrite in meat. A constant  control of the concentration of nitrite in meat is necessary to avoid risks.
The German directive "zweite Verordnung zur Änderung der Zusatzstoff-Zulassungsverordnung und anderer lebensmittelrechtlicher Verordnungen" (concerns approval of additives in food) defines limit values for the permitted concentration of nitrite in food. For meat products a maximum quantity of 150 mg/kg is prescribed. Sterilized meat products are not allowed to exceed the maximum quantity of 100 mg/kg.

Test procedure

Sample preparation:
Take 5 g meat of the sample and give it into a mortar. Mince the meat and add 8 ml sodium acetate solution1) (13.6 g sodium acetate in 100 ml distilled water). Mix for 1 minute. Afterwards filter through a soft filter and press slightly to get some filtrate. Folded filter paper like MN 617 we1) is most suitable for the filtration.

Give 5 g meat into a mortar and mince.

Add 8 ml 1 N sodium acetate solution1) and mix for 1 minute.

Filter through a soft filter.

Dip the test strip into the filtrate for a few seconds. Remove the test strip and wait for 30 seconds. Compare the test field with the color scale on the tube. A red-violet coloration indicates the presence of nitrite ions.

Dip the test strip into the filtrate. Compare the test field with the color scale. A red-violet coloration detects nitrite ions.
Product data and ordering information: QUANTOFIX® Nitrite
Type Semiquantitative test strip
Presentation Tube of 100 test strips
Color reaction

white to red-violet

Limit of sensitivity

0-1-5-10-20-40-80 mg/l NO2-

Reference 91311

1) not provided with the test

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