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Nitrate to nitrite reaction?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Richtee

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:30 AM

In the meat curing world, both chems have their uses. Just for curiosity's sake, can a nitrate be converted easily to it's nitrite form? Sodium, specifically...
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#2 bikemaster

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 10:37 AM

There, you have a lot of way to do this: https://www.sciencem...read.php?tid=52

If you are simply intrested of finding sodium nitrite, i suggest you to buy it in fishing store. This is use in bait curring.

#3 Mumbles

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 12:29 PM

I wouldn't imagine that rich has too much trouble buying nitrites.

One of the cleaner ways I know to reduce nitrate to nitrite is by roasting it with lead. The lead oxide and lead metal can be filtered off after the mass is dissolved. Generally two rounds of this gets you almost perfect conversion. Not the best option for meat curing though. That thread has all sorts of neat ideas though.
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#4 Peret

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 06:08 PM

Isn't nitrite used to give meat that fresh red look for supermarket sales? I imagine it's just painted on, since the meat is always a less attractive greyish look underneath.

The only time I used potassium nitrate with meat was when I made corned beef once. A roll of brisket, pickled in nitrate and spices for some time. It tasted excellent, but it was far too much labor to make a habit of it.

#5 Mumbles

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 09:54 PM

I believe the main use of nitrite is to prevent the growth of botulism causing bacteria, but it has the added benefit of binding to myoglobin and making the meat nice and red and preventing oxidation.
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#6 Richtee

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 06:05 AM

I believe the main use of nitrite is to prevent the growth of botulism causing bacteria, but it has the added benefit of binding to myoglobin and making the meat nice and red and preventing oxidation.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Potassium forms are no longer approved for use in meat curing, however. Also, the amounts used are VERY small. Nitrate/ites are of course poisonous in higher concentrations. On the order of 100-200 parts per MILLION.

The deal in a nutshell: Nitrate (with some nitrite) is used in the longer-cured products: aged salamis, country style hams, coppas, procuittos. The process basically is the nitrate breaks down to nitrite over time, which goes to nitrous oxide -THAT is the baby that actually does the curing. So, the nitrite form alone is used in the quicker-cure stuff... sausages to be smoked, jerky, city cure hams. It gets to "work" immediately, preventing the nasties from growing in the meats kept in "The Danger Zone" (40-140°F) for more than 4 hours during smoking/slow cooking.

If there was a CLEAN NON-TOXIC easy way to reduce the nitrate to nitrite, I could only stock the nitrate, and crank out a batch of nitrite as needed.

Edited by Richtee, 12 December 2010 - 06:06 AM.

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#7 dagabu

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 08:47 AM

LOL!

I am such an idiot, I have no idea what you guys are saying. Nitrate to nitrate, what does that even mean?

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#8 Richtee

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 11:50 AM

LOL!

I am such an idiot, I have no idea what you guys are saying. Nitrate to nitrate, what does that even mean?

NiTRATE to NiTRITE Hehe... I can see how you might be confused reading too fast, or too early :lol:
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#9 dagabu

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 12:12 PM

-OR-

Cause I am dumb :blink:

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#10 Algenco

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 12:16 PM

-OR-

Cause I am dumb Posted Image



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#11 Mumbles

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 02:22 PM

See, I was thinking like a chemist the whole time. Sometimes you need to think like an irrational pseudo-hippie.

There is an "organic" way to cure meat. No chemicals are used persay as to keep it "organic". Instead they use high nitrate vegetable juices, or powders. This way they can add the necessary chemicals under a different name. Beet root and celery are the two common ones I know of. So, now that you've added plenty of nitrate without "chemicals", you then incubate it with a bacterial culture supposedly naturally in the meat already, similar ones used to make cheese and other fermented dairy products.

http://www.extension..._March_2010.pdf

Also, there are numerous studies that show that nitrates and nitrites are good for you, and help to prevent cardiovascular disease and to recover from heart attacks. I like studies like these.

It should also be noted that the above "organic" curing of meat introduces several volatile byproducts that are potentially rather harmful on their own.
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#12 Richtee

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 08:42 AM

See, I was thinking like a chemist the whole time. Sometimes you need to think like an irrational pseudo-hippie.

There is an "organic" way to cure meat. No chemicals are used persay as to keep it "organic". Instead they use high nitrate vegetable juices, or powders. This way they can add the necessary chemicals under a different name. Beet root and celery are the two common ones I know of. So, now that you've added plenty of nitrate without "chemicals", you then incubate it with a bacterial culture supposedly naturally in the meat already, similar ones used to make cheese and other fermented dairy products.


I dig these "organic" freaks. I love to clue them in that NOTHING they can possibly grow/raise is "organic". Water has to be added, and guess what? It's inorganic :lol:

Anyway, I prefer to stick with known concentrations/scientifically proven/defined methods when curing meats. Safer, and I sleep better at night after selling/giving them to folks.

I have heard alot on this "organic" curing, also salt only curing. I may look into the latter, but it's not something I really feel I need to do. Interestingly enough, salt-water aquarium salt is recommended.
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#13 Peret

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 01:37 AM

Interestingly enough, salt-water aquarium salt is recommended.


That's probably because table salt comes with added iodine. I don't even know if it's possible to buy table salt without it, since it's been added as a public health matter for about a hundred years. Well dang me - I didn't realize until I just looked, table salt has a list of ingredients on the packet! "Salt, calcium silicate, dextrose, potassium iodide".

#14 Mumbles

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 01:53 AM

You can. My mom always buys it since she had her thyroid out. No need for the iodine. Apparently no one else needs it though :rolleyes:. If you need perfectly pure salt, so iodine, no additives, go find some canning or pickling salt.
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#15 Richtee

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 04:34 AM

You can. My mom always buys it since she had her thyroid out. No need for the iodine. Apparently no one else needs it though :rolleyes:. If you need perfectly pure salt, so iodine, no additives, go find some canning or pickling salt.

Kosher as well...

All brining applications (as well as curing) should use non-iodized salt. You just need a bunch of other "impurities" for a "salt cure". Sure, you can dump a hunk of meat in straight salt, change it out once a week or so and preserve it as a dried out hunk of leather that's inedible until soaked and boiled, if that's how you like your cured meat. I'll stick with the nitrite/ate stuff, thank you.
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#16 Richtee

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 04:39 AM

That's probably because table salt comes with added iodine.

partially, also it's because it has trace minerals/chemicals and "impurities". Altho, the iodine in table salt is waaay too high and would ruin the flavor, and possible affect the safeness of your product.

http://www.google.co...ed=0CEwQ8wIwAA#

Edited by Richtee, 14 December 2010 - 04:49 AM.

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