Plant-based Nitrates/nitrites and Their Positive Role in Cured Meats
In the cured meat and processed meat industry, nitrites and nitrates have become a word of taboo that started decades ago. Some people have been steered away from cured meats and have moved to only plant-based foods simply because, “Nitrites are bad.” This statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. In this article, we’d like to debunk this myth that has encased the salami world for years with the benefits of both, nitrites and nitrates and the miracle molecule, nitric oxide. We will also be covering natural preservatives contributing to irresistible flavors and ingredients used in the curing process of salami that you may have not known were even there.
According to internationally recognized experts in the field, nitrates and nitrites are indispensable nutrients required for optimal cardiovascular health as well as nitric oxide, promoting useful endocrine function. The myth that cured meats containing nitrites and nitrates are harmful to your health has been circulated and re-circulated since the 1970’s. Over the last 25 years or so, the tone has changed thanks to research showing that these two are positive contributors to a wide variety of positive health benefits. So why shouldn’t we let them be?
It is because of incorrect impressions through media coverage, grapevine conversations, and published reports from untrusted sources that we feel the stigma around this topic. Words on labels like, “uncured” are set to show that “curing” meats with nitrates will be harmful for your health, while these, “uncured” meats are cured with plant-based ingredients such as, celery, beet, cherry, swiss chard and more. All this is good for Is confusing the consumer in our opinion. Did you know that the benefits of vegetarian diets are based on the content of nitrites and nitrates?
Using plant-based nitrites in cured meats is truly the best of both worlds. On one hand, the consumer sees a healthier choice in product, while the producer is gaining natural benefits from already occurring nitrates from vegetables such as celery powder, beet powder, or another plant-based nitrate source. In addition, cherry powder can act as an accelerator and give consumers what they’ve been craving in cured meats, health benefits. In fact, if you wish to try naturally occurring plant-based salami, try any of our entire line of cured meat products here.
So, what’s the use? Functionally, nitrates prevent bacteria growth in cured meat products and act as a preservative or additive, the same in which vegetables produce nitrates from the nitrogen-rich soil. They are then turned into nitrites when they encounter certain bacteria and turn the meat a pink color that we’ve all seen in meats and poultry. This nitric oxide is fantastic for us humans because it relaxes and dilates blood vessels to result in improved blood pressure. Even as we grow older, our body produces less nitric oxide, so it can provide an important supplement.
Take our meats, cured with celery juice powder, they incorporate everything that you’d hope for in a natural salami, including nitrates and nitrites! They improve the taste without affecting the quality and prove to be good for you!