What is Sodium Nitrite

According to Addis and Warthesen (2012), Sodium nitrite, also known as Chile saltpeter or Peru saltpeter, greatly delays development of botulinal toxin (botulism), develops cured meat flavor and color, retards development of rancidity, exposes off-odors and off-flavors during storage, inhibits development of warmed-over flavor, and preserves flavors of spices and smoke.

According to a research on sodium nitrite from, sodium nitrite is a chemical that is commonly used in the food industry to preserve meat. However, sodium nitrite has caused harmful effect on human health. Regularly consuming processed meats that are rich in sodium nitrate may ultimately lead to certain types of cancers. Research conducted at the University of Hawaii showed that people who consumed the most processed meats over a period time were at higher risk for developing pancreatic cancer, compared to those who consumed little or no meat products. The cause of the increased cancer risk is the use of sodium nitrite by food processing companies, according to natural health author, Mike Adams (n.d.). When consumers eat sodium nitrite in processed meat products, nitrosamines are formed in the body, resulting in the growth of different types of cancers. (Pellegrini, 2011)

Several years ago, some researchers raised the possibility that nitrites could be linked to cancer in laboratory rats. (Alfaro, 2010) Sodium nitrite reacts with stomach acid and other chemicals in the stomach to produce nitrosamines, which have been shown to cause cancer in animals when consumed in large quantities. The American Medical Association says that sodium nitrites can lead to gastrointestinal and brain cancer.


Sodium nitrate could increase your heart disease risk. Aside from the salt and saturated fats in these meats that can disrupt a heart-healthy diet, sodium nitrate also may harm your heart. Demonstrated by Grogan (2010), it is thought that sodium nitrate may damage your blood vessels, making your arteries more likely to harden and narrow, leading to heart disease. Nitrates may also affect the way your body uses sugar, making you more likely to develop diabetes.

According to the American Medical Association, a diet high in sodium nitrites may lead to a health condition called methemoglobinemia, which is the inability of your red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout your body. This condition causes respiratory problems and can be fatal. Reducing your intake of foods with sodium nitrites can help prevent this condition.

High intake of sodium nitrites while pregnant may increase your baby’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes. The American Medical Association says that this risk is higher for male babies and occurs because of your body’s reaction to sodium nitrite. The risk of juvenile type 1 diabetes can also occur if your water supply is high in sodium nitrites and you drink it while pregnant or offer it to your young children.
Also, eating a diet high in foods that contain sodium nitrites can cause irritation to your digestive system, including your mouth, esophagus and stomach. If irritation occurs, you may experience pain, particularly abdominal pain. High consumption of sodium nitrites is also associated with damage to your blood and your blood vessels. At toxic levels, sodium nitrites can also lead to rapid heart rate and difficulty breathing.
Due to these, The USDA has imposed limits on the amount of sodium nitrite that can be used for processing purposes. Nitrites/Nitrates cannot exceed 200 ppm (parts per million). A “fatal dose” of sodium nitrite has been estimated at “22 to 23 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.” Although this is a hefty dose unreasonable for regular consumption, there’s concern about much smaller amounts of the preservative in infants and younger children. (Ipatenco, 2011)

Banana Peels

Banana is the leading fruit grown in the Philippines and a consistent top dollar earner of the country. Its prospect in the domestic and foreign markets is promising as demands for fresh and processed products are increasing. The Philippines’ production area of banana ranked as the third largest in the world at 415,000 hectares in 2004 or about 8.5% of the total world area. It ranked second to India which has 680,000 hectares. The country’s production area from 1990 to 2004 was increasing at a rate of 2.2% per year. (

Banana peels are also rich sources of potassium and contain much more soluble and insoluble fiber than their flesh. Dietary fiber promotes digestion and bowel movements and can reduce blood cholesterol levels. Banana peels also contain tryptophan, which increases serotonin levels in the body and affects mood, much like the drug Prozac does. Most fruit, such as banana contain less than 5mg of sodium per serving. Anti-microbic and antibiotic properties or principles that can kill bacterial species that are most commonly found in decaying meat are found in the peel and pulp of a fully ripe banana. (Wasserman, 2011)

Tags : science
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