No Nitrate Added "Natural" Cure?

Blackriver
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No Nitrate Added "Natural" Cure?

Post by Blackriver » Tue Mar 19, 2013 01:45

I saw this cure on Butcher and Packer. What do you guys think of this stuff?

http://www.butcher-packer.com/index.php ... ts_id=1040
Last edited by Blackriver on Wed Jul 10, 2013 07:23, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by ssorllih » Tue Mar 19, 2013 01:50

They tell you absolutely nothing about the product. I would save my money.
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Post by ssorllih » Tue Mar 19, 2013 02:33

This sheds a little light on the subject: http://gradworks.umi.com/34/80/3480511.html
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Post by JerBear » Tue Mar 19, 2013 02:42

I'm going to purchase the product, just haven't gotten around to ordering yet. IMHO it's really no different than using Cure#1, just a different source of the nitrite.
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Post by ssorllih » Tue Mar 19, 2013 03:49

What do you perceive to be the advantage of this versus sodium nitrite?
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Post by JerBear » Tue Mar 19, 2013 06:57

In a word, "marketing". The ability to label a product as "uncured" as gov't agencies consider sodium nitrite to be curing and this is just celery powder. Never mind that it has a load of naturally occurring nitrite.
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Post by ssorllih » Tue Mar 19, 2013 13:24

I would only consider using it if it made a superior product. I don't have friends so ignorant as to be rabid about nitrites.
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Post by JerBear » Tue Mar 19, 2013 16:15

Nor do I...additionally, if you used it to avoid adding nitrites and told your friends the sausage did not have added nitrites you wouldn't be much of a friend. It's basically for marketing, no more, no less.
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Post by ssorllih » Tue Mar 19, 2013 16:55

There is no price advantage and according to the paper I linked no taste advantage.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Thu Jul 04, 2013 00:37

Please allow me to throw in a couple of cents worth here. Inexperienced and unqualified people have introduced all kinds of supposedly "nitrate-free" products to meet the resulting consumer demand for what the misinformed public sees as a health threat. What the public may not know is that not only are their fears over nitrates completely overblown, but these "nitrate-free" products can actually contain many times more nitrates than conventional products. For instance, a truly nitrate-free hot dog would be much more likely to make a person sick than a conventional one. How is this possible?

First of all, there is no such thing as "synthetic nitrate". Sodium nitrate is simply a naturally occurring mineral... a type of salt that happens to be a particularly effective food preservative. Sodium nitrate is present in all kinds of vegetables (root veggies like carrots as well as leafy greens like celery and spinach) along with all sorts of fruits and grains. Basically, anything that grows from the ground draws sodium nitrate out of the soil. If this seems strange, remember that the word nitrate refers to a compound made of nitrogen, which is the single largest component of our atmosphere. Every time you take a breath, you're breathing 78 percent nitrogen. The soil itself is loaded with it! As you know, one of the things that happens when sodium nitrate is used as a curing agent is that the sodium nitrate is converted to sodium nitrite. It is sodium nitrite that actually possesses the antimicrobial properties that make it an effective preservative. It's particularly effective on clostridium botulinum as well as salmonella.

So what about all those supposedly "nitrate-free" hot dogs, bacon and other so-called "uncured" products? Since completely uncured hot dogs are not palatable to consumers, it's very rare indeed to find a product that is totally nitrate-free. Instead, manufacturers make claims such as "no nitrates added." The reality is that companies that make nitrate-free hot dogs have to use something to substitute for the sodium nitrate. Celery juice is a popular choice. And guess what celery juice contains lots of? Sodium nitrate. And guess what that sodium nitrate turns into when you eat it? Sodium nitrite! You see, the sodium nitrate that we consume through fruits, vegetables and grains is also converted to sodium nitrite by our digestive process. When we eat fruits, vegetables or grains, our bodies produce sodium nitrite.

Sure, celery is a natural source of sodium nitrate. (Notice that no one is currently claiming that celery causes cancer or that people should reduce their intake of celery.) But by adding celery juice to their hot dogs, manufacturers can make products loaded with sodium nitrate while legally being able to claim "no added nitrates." Because all the nitrates are in the celery juice. As a matter of fact, these supposedly "natural" or "organic" products sometimes contain twice as much sodium nitrate, even up to a whopping ten times as much sodium nitrate, as conventional products.

In some countries, people are able to obtain pure sodium nitrate. Please, please, please folks... If you mix pure sodium nitrate or pure sodium nitrite, you must be aware of a few things. First of all, commercial suppliers place it on a salt carrier for us home sausage makers. Before C.L. Griffith developed his "Prague Powder", sodium nitrate would settle to the bottom of a salt barrel and uniform dispersal became impossible. People found meat products having inconsistent, unbalanced, and unreliable amounts of curing agent. In other words, you cannot simply mix it with salt and expect it to be consistent. If you live in a country where this product is not available and you must mix your own pure nitrate with salt, please be prudent enough to blend the elements with cold water and then mix it thoroughly with the meat. Next, be sure to mix it thoroughly with the meat. Lastly, be sure to mix it thoroughly with the meat! You know... uniformly! Consistently! Evenly! In other words, equally throughout the mixture.

The following is a post I made to our buddy Ross Hill (ssorllih) some time ago. It explains a few details of Prague Powder:
In the early 1900s, Enoch Luther (E.L.) Griffith and his son, Carroll Luther (C.L.), opened a pharmaceutical business after C.L. graduated from the Northwestern University School of Pharmacology. Both men worked hard to establish Griffith Laboratories focusing on "bringing science to the food industry." During the 1920`s, the men worked on quick-curing meats using a new German meat-pumping process and something the Germans called Prague "salt". During the 30`s they developed the Prague Pickling Scale, a ham press, dry soluble seasonings, and specialized antioxidants. They also came up with an answer to a problem that had previously just plagued meat processors - how to intersperse sodium nitrate and nitrite into salt evenly with homogeneous and consistently unvarying uniformity. Before their invention (Prague Powder), the nitrates-nitrites would settle to the bottom of the barrels of salt during shipping etc. Uniformly mixing batches by local sausage makers was almost an impossibility. Then, C.L. Griffith had the idea that he could somehow "flash dry" or "freeze dry" the nitrates and nitrites onto salt crystals (German Prague Salts) on huge rollers. The product was enormously successful and his "Prague Powders" became a household word to small sausage-making concerns everywhere in the world. For the first time, it was possible to measure exactly the amount required. So, we see that the term Prague Powder was developed from German "Prague Salt". Today, it may be called, "Instacure", "Pink Salt", "Cure", or any number of names.
The company has continued to thrive over the decades, even producing products globally. As far as I know, their headquarters are still in the town of Alsip, Illinois. Griffith laboratories has made a remarkable contribution to our sausage-making craft over the years. Without their expertise, I would hate to think of how we would be managing nitrates and nitrites in smaller, hobbyist applications.

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Post by JerBear » Thu Jul 04, 2013 01:04

Thanks for adding the extra info... I really liked hearing the history of the product... fascinating stuff...
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Post by Chuckwagon » Thu Jul 04, 2013 05:39

Happy Fourth Jer! Hope all is well. Good to hear from you.

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Post by Butterbean » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:51

My memory is bad but wasn't it Clinton who said, "I didn't add nitrites to that sausage" or something like that?
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Post by Chuckwagon » Fri Jul 05, 2013 08:10

Naw, he just didn't "inhale" 'em ! :roll:
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Post by markjass » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:45

I get pissed off with people and companies that use doublespeak (Noun: Deliberately euphemistic, ambiguous, or obscure language) when pushing products. I feel that the onus should be on a product producer to show that a product is safe etc. I like the proposed traffic light system. I also feel that claims of low salt should also be accompanied with high fat if that is what it contains (where does the flavour come from?).

A few years ago I was astounded to read on a packet of bacon 'gluten free' (if would have been more effective with me if they advertised it as glutton free). What the $%^& are people doing putting gluten in bacon? I then started to wonder if the clever advertisers were stating an obvious!
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