Foods, Vol. 12, Pages 1485: Research Progress of Nitrite Metabolism in Fermented Meat Products

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Foods, Vol. 12, Pages 1485: Research Progress of Nitrite Metabolism in Fermented Meat Products

Foods doi: 10.3390/foods12071485

Authors: Qiyuan Shen Xiaoqun Zeng Lingyu Kong Xiaoqian Sun Jingjing Shi Zhen Wu Yuxing Guo Daodong Pan

Nitrite is a common color and flavor enhancer in fermented meat products, but its secondary amines may transfer to the carcinogen N-nitrosamines. This review focuses on the sources, degradation, limitations, and alteration techniques of nitrite. The transition among NO3− and NO2−, NH4+, and N2 constitutes the balance of nitrogen. Exogenous addition is the most common source of nitrite in fermented meat products, but it can also be produced by contamination and endogenous microbial synthesis. While nitrite is degraded by acids, enzymes, and other metabolites produced by lactic acid bacteria (LAB), four nitrite reductase enzymes play a leading role. At a deeper level, nitrite metabolism is primarily regulated by the genes found in these bacteria. By incorporating antioxidants, chromogenic agents, bacteriostats, LAB, or non-thermal plasma sterilization, the amount of nitrite supplied can be decreased, or even eliminated. Finally, the aim of producing low-nitrite fermented meat products is expected to be achieved.

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