ISSN 2308-4057 (Print),
ISSN 2310-9599 (Online)

Volatile N-nitrosamine, residual nitrite, and ascorbic acid levels in sausages during storage

Introduction. The increasing global consumption of processed meat products has led to certain concerns. For instance, processed meat products are known to contain carcinogen precursor compounds, thus creating the risk of chronic diseases. The present study was performed to estimate the food safety status of processed meat products available in Iran and evaluate the related effective factors.
Study objects and methods. 140 samples of seven most popular commercial types of cooked sausages were obtained from four major meat factories (A, B, C and D) in 140 samples were collected from seven most popular commercial types of cooked sausages as follows: beef salami 90%, chicken salami 90%, dry cured sausage 70%, dry cured salami 60%, beef sausages 55%, chicken sausages 55% and Frankfurt sausage 40% (n = 5) from four major meat factories (A, B, C and D) in Tehran. The samples were screened for residual nitrite, ascorbic acid, and nitrosamine contents on days 0, 7, 14, 21, and 28. The results indicated that products from meat factory B had lower residual nitrite content in the samples with high content of meat. Beef salami (90% of meat) and Frankfurt sausage (40% of meat) contained the lowest and highest amounts of residual nitrite on day 0 – 73.99 and 177.42 mg of nitrite per 1 kg of meat, respectively.
Results and discussion. Beef salami contained 90% of meat, chicken salami – 90%, dry cured sausage –70%, dry cured salami – 60%, beef sausages – 55%, chicken sausages – 55%, and Frankfurt sausage – 40% (n = 5). Nitrite reduction rates in sausages with a smaller diameter, e.g. Frankfurt sausage, were significantly lower (P < 0.05), compared to salami samples. The difference can be explained by the shorter cooking time. Nitrosamine formation increased during refrigerated storage; however, it was not significant in all samples. During refrigerated storage, nitrosamine formation depended on the level of added nitrite, the amount of residual nitrite, ascorbic acid, pH, and cooking temperature. Ascorbic acid content decreased significantly (P < 0.05) during refrigerated storage.
Conclusion. The findings demonstrate significant correlation between the meat content, cooking time, nitrite content, and nitrosamine formation.
Meat industry, processed meat, meat products safety, carcinogenic agents, preservation
This research was financially supported by National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute (NNFTRI) of Iran.
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How to quote?
Ramezani H, Abhari K, Pilevar Z, Hosseini H, Mohammadi A. Volatile N-nitrosamine, residual nitrite, and ascorbic acid levels in sausages during storage. Foods and Raw Materials. 2020;8(1):107–114. DOI:
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