Nitrite and nitrate have for many decades been used for preservation of meat. However, nitrite can react with secondary amines in meat to form N-Nitrosamines (NAs), many of which have been shown to be genotoxic1 . The use of nitrite therefore ought to be limited as much as possible. To maintain a high level of consumer protection Denmark obtains National low limits of the nitrite use in meat products. An estimation of the dietary exposure to volatile NAs (VNA) and non-volatile NAs (NVNA) is necessary when performing a risk assessment of the use of nitrite and nitrate for meat preservation.
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6th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Food Analysis, 2013