Celery Powder Nitrate? Get the butter!

sweepsa
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Post by sweepsa » Thu Sep 11, 2014 20:21

Understood, and I agree. But, since SOOOOO much nitrite is added from celery juice/celery juice powder, multiples of what the typical commercial cure would add, my question remains, can household celery seed and or celery salt be used to cure meat in small quantities?

Celery juice powder comes in packets portioned to cure 25 pounds of meat at a time. Once opened, they quickly absorb ambient humidity and become almost cement like. I haven't tried the typical nitrite commercial cures. Don't know if they have any shelf life once opened.

I find that people are more favorably disposed to what they perceive to be foods that have no "added nitrite."
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Post by Butterbean » Thu Sep 11, 2014 21:06

Is it possible? You can cure meat in spinach leaves or spinach juice so I'm sure it is possible. Nitrite is nitrite no matter how you put it to the uninformed but if nitrites are "bad" and the people don't want it in their food why lie to them and tell them its not in there when it clearly is. Seems to me lying about it being not in the meat is worse than just telling the truth and trying to inform the sheeple why you are using one of nature's natural elements to make their food safe.

You know, just a few months ago I endured a seven hour meeting where a guy from the US GAO instructed us how we could legally lie to the consumer to give them that fuzzy feeling they so want in matters just such as this. I found the whole meeting disgusting and a complete waste of time.
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Post by Tasso » Fri Sep 12, 2014 02:19

People who sell products labeled "nitrite-free" that contain celery juice/powder or other sources of naturally occurring vegetable nitrites are misleading people. Just because they can get away with it legally under FDA rules doesn't make the practice any less deceptive.

Of course, if all you're interested in is selling product, then you want to make what sells. I get that. If I were producing a commercial product that substituted vegetable sources of nitrite for the more common additive, I would be inclined to educate the consumer. I would proudly display "Nitrate/Nitrite Free" prominently on the label so I could benefit from FDA rules and generate market share from the gullible, but I would add a box explaining that my product contained enough nitrite or nitrates from vegetable sources to equal that contained in traditionally cured products, or at least enough to meet minimum safety guidelines.
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Post by el Ducko » Fri Sep 12, 2014 02:28

There is an interesting discussion from about 18 months ago at the following thread:
http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=6431
If you check out some of the links there, you'll see what's going on in the world of celery and such. I get the idea that the nitrite content is so variable that you cannot reliably hit a desired concentration, so the FSIS has not approved it for use in the USA as a cure for commercial products.

Make up your own mind, though- - read the available literature. Canada seems to approve.
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Post by sweepsa » Fri Sep 12, 2014 02:30

Butterbean, Tasso:

I definitely get it. Nitrites are nitrites. And from what I have gathered, so-called nitrite free products actually contain MORE nitrates ... significantly more!

But again, that's what led me to my initial question: Since celery products contain so much nitrite, is it possible to use celery seeds or celery salts in place of celery juice power cures, or standard cures themselves?
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Post by rudyusmc1980 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 03:40

There are no nitrates/nitrites in the seed, so seeds won't work.

http://www.drugs.com/npp/celery.html

Chemistry

Celery is high in minerals, including sodium and chlorine, and is a poor source of vitamins. 5 The major constituents of celery seed oil are d-limonene (60%), selinene (10%) and a number of related phthalides (3%) which include 3-n-butylphthalide, sedanenolide and sedanonic anhydride. Celery contains a pheromone steroid previously identified in boars and parsnips. 6

The furocoumarin, bergapten, has been found in celery. 7 UV spectographic studies have indicated the presence of a compound similar or identical to 8-methoxypsoralen. Infrared spectography has detected yet another compound with a furocoumarin glucoside, isoquercitrin, and the coumarin glucoside apiumoside also have been identified. 8

Other organic components include isovalerianic aldehyde, propionic aldehyde and acetaldehyde. 9 Oil of celery seed is sometimes adulterated with celery chaff oil or d-limonene from less expensive sources.
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no nitrites in celery seed

Post by sweepsa » Fri Sep 12, 2014 15:57

Rudy:

Thanks for your response. I do have to ask you how you know the seeds are nitrite free. I mean no disrespect, and I hope you understand. But I have come across several, perhaps ill-informed, blogs/posts/articles suggesting that the seeds DO contain nitrites. Also, if you can help, what about celery salt itself. I believe it is made by grinding the seeds and adding sea salt, rather than using the stalks and leaves in some way.

Again, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Post by Baconologist » Fri Sep 12, 2014 16:32

How are you defining "cure?"

The folks at the SausageMaker sum it up best... "The USDA currently does not recognize naturally occurring nitrates as effective curing agents in meats, so if using Celery Juice Powder for products being sold to the public, the end-products must be labeled "Uncured"."

Source: http://www.sausagemaker.com/11080celeryjuicepowder.aspx

That also applies to other forms of natural nitrate.

The words nitrate and nitrite seem to be used interchangeably by some....understanding the difference is important.

More info here: http://www.porkgateway.org/FileLibrary/ ... -05-10.pdf
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Post by rudyusmc1980 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 18:50

Sweepsa, I got the info from Dr. Google. I love that guy. I posted the link to a respectable research and medical website that does not list nitrate/nitrate as occurring in the seed.

You could try it with seed, (ground, I assume?) and look for the color change after cooking?

My concern is the distinct flavor of celery seed would alter your hot dogs considerably.


I looked up about the celery salt, and only found wikipedia info. Basically the article said Some brands of celery salt contain nitrites, but not all, and it did not state which and in what quantity. The differences wiki listed were that some salts use celery powder and some do not.

The wiki for celery salt lists sodium nitrate as an additive, but provides no info on if this is in fact an additive or naturally occurring. Each manufacturer will be different.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celery_salt


From Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celery#Nutrition
Celery seeds can be used as flavouring or spice, either as whole seeds or ground and mixed with salt, as celery salt. Celery salt can also be made from an extract of the roots, or using dried leaves.
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Post by Bob K » Fri Sep 12, 2014 23:11

Topic is also discussed here: http://www.wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=6519


But also read this http://askfsis.custhelp.com/app/answers ... ing-agents.

Use of Celery Powder and Other Natural Sources of Nitrite as Curing Agents
Published 05/15/2012 02:30 PM | Updated 07/09/2014 06:45 AM
Are celery powder and other natural sources of nitrite approved for use as curing agents?

No, neither celery powder (whether in a pre-reduced form or with a bacterial nitrate-reducing culture) nor other natural sources of nitrite alone are approved for use in 9 CFR 424.21(c) as curing agents. The substances are currently regulated as flavorings.

FSIS recognizes that the naturally-occurring nitrate and nitrite contained in celery powder and other natural sources is sufficient to maintain the pink coloring of fresh meat. However, curing agents provide more than color retention; they are also important in the control of growth of Clostridium perfringens as well as Clostridium botulinum and its toxin formation in cured products. Currently available research has not supported that naturally occurring sources of nitrite alone can sufficiently control the growth of these pathogens when compared to products that are conventionally cured with sodium nitrite (Jackson et al., 2011a and Jackson et al., 2011b). Thus, without further scientific support, natural sources of nitrite without additional antimicrobial agents or other interventions would not be sufficient to control the growth of Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum, and cannot be considered as curing agents.

In addition, it would not be appropriate for establishments producing products containing natural sources of nitrite alone to use the third stabilization option for cured products as described in Appendix B: Compliance Guidelines for Cooling Heat-Treated Meat and Poultry Products (Stabilization). Furthermore, products containing natural sources of nitrite alone are considered uncured during the development of custom cooling schedules or use of predictive pathogen modeling program.

References:
Jackson et al. 2011a. Survival and growth of Clostridium perfringens in commercial no-nitrate-or-nitrite-added (natural and organic) frankfurters, hams, and bacon. J Food Prot. 74(3): 410-416.
Jackson et al. 2011b. Use of natural ingredients to control growth of Clostridium perfringens in naturally cured frankfurters and hams. J Food Prot. 74(3): 417-424.
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Post by sweepsa » Sat Sep 13, 2014 16:13

First, thanks to all of you for taking time to educating me.

So nitrates are nitrates and nitrites are nitrites and nitrosamines are produced in the gut by human digestion, and almost every veggie out there has either nitrites or nitrosamines themselves. OK, so we live in world of nitrites and nitrosamines are unavoidable.

So why all the articles about cancer risk from cured meats, while nary a peep about the dangers of all these other veggies? Also, are any of the commercially available cures safer than the others. I noticed that some have red dye added, for instance.
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Post by Butterbean » Sat Sep 13, 2014 16:41

I have a question. Lets say these allergies that some people claim to have to nitrites are real and not some made up manifestation of political correctness but are truly real and life threatening.

What do you think will happen to the person who makes a product using celery juice, spinach juice, Organic, Himalayan beet juice concentrate or some other "natural" and "organically safe" manner and sells this "nitrite free" product to the consumer has far more nitrites than allowed by law and the consumer wakes and finds some strange appendage growing out the side of their head.

Do you think:

1. They will hire an attorney and sue the producer?

2. They will think the strange appendage is hip and will gladly show it off as their sign of progressive thinking?

3. If it goes to a jury trial, do you think the general public will see through the FDA's semantics and find the producer guilty of deception and malfeasance?

4. Or do you think they will think it wonderful and suggest the court counter-sue the plaintiff to reward him for his ingenuity and selfless dedication to the organic movement?
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Post by Chuckwagon » Sat Sep 13, 2014 17:30

Butterbean for President! :lol:
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by Butterbean » Sat Sep 13, 2014 17:43

The dye is added for safety so it will not be confused with table salt.

What people seem to overlook is the beauty of how the nitrates/ites work. It is totally natural and the nitrogen cycle is the very foundation of the plant kingdom. What amazes me mankind figured out how to use nature's cycle to make their food safe thousands of years ago. They didn't understand how it worked but they knew it worked. It wasn't until the 20th century did we understand the science of it all at which time we were able to calculate the minimal amount of nitrate/ite is required to do the job. Prior to that, we didn't know and relied on specific salt sources, from various oceans or salt mines to do the job. This is still done today in some regions. Take Italy's prosciutto. No cure is used on this BUT the salt must come from certain sources that are known to have adequate nitrates in it.

The question is why do this when any chemical used in to large a dose can be dangerous, so is it not better to use our knowledge of nature to use a minimum amount rather than relying on a toss of the dice to insure the safety of your product on either side of the threshold?

If you do some research on Italian salts you can find many which are labelled with the amount of nitrates in the salt. Its clearly on the label showing guaranteed minimums. Use of these salts will allow you to boast your product as nitrate/ite free under the FDA rules but again - why would you want to use more nitrate/ite than what is required to safely cure your product? Why would you want to lie to your customer when you know there are nitrates in your product? And knowing this to be true, would you not be liable for any damages to someone who consumes your product who is allergic to nitrates/ites? (If this is in fact a true. I personally don't believe these claims because these same people eat lettuce and that has 40 times the amount as cured meat)

In summary, to be nitrate/ite free is dangerous because barring radiating your food there is no other way to stop botulism and you will eventually kill someone if you don't.

On an interesting side note, I know the UK's health board is really getting concerned about what they see is the coming storm of botulism in their region. The reason for this is the smoked fish they consume. Botulism is rare there and fish pulled from the north sea are none to be botulism free so salt is all they use to cure the fish for smoking. However with world trade and more imported fish they have some real concerns this could pose a significant health risk. Same thing happened several years ago in the states and a lot of people were affected.

So the real question is why wouldn't you use a cure?
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Post by sweepsa » Sat Sep 13, 2014 19:09

Is a nitrite cure to be used in place of the usual amount of salt?

Say, you usually use 2 teaspoons of salt per pound ... and a pound calls for 1/4 teaspoon of cure. Do you reduce your salt to 1 and 3/4 teaspoons?

Another question: Let's say you prepare your links, immediately water cook them to an adequate internal temp, and the promptly vacuum pack and refrigerate them. The risk of botulism in this kind of scenario would be nil, right (40 degrees to 140 degrees being the danger zone), and, as long as they were recooked to 160 degrees internal, they would be totally fit for consumption, right?

In this way, you could have a hot dog that was cure-free, but not necessarily nitrite-free, right?
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