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Review of the estimated intake of nitrates and nitrites from consumption of cured meats in the UK
Project Code: A01068
Durham Public Analyst Laboratory
Richards, A ; Simpson, B;
This surveillance project was commissioned to analyse the levels of nitrates and nitrites in meat products such as bacon, gammon, corned beef and ham. A confirmatory laboratory was chosen to randomly analyse a small portion of samples and to confirm any high or unusual results.
The two laboratories used different accredited methods to determine nitrates and nitrites i.e. HPLC with UV detection and a colourimetric method. As there was a discrepancy between the results reported by both laboratories, it is inappropriate to publish a Food Survey Information Sheet and instead the survey report has been added to Foodbase and brand names removed.
Four recent FAPAS* rounds on nitrate/nitrite in meat highlighted inconsistencies in the results obtained from the different laboratories that participated in the exercises. These laboratories used different methods to determine these analytes, which could be a source of the variability in the reported results. Therefore the Food Standards Agency has commissioned a collaborative trial (Collaborative Trial 163: Nitrate and Nitrite in Meat Products”) with West Yorkshire Analytical Services to trial two different nitrate/nitrite methods: an enzymatic reductase method and a CEN method using ion chromatography. Results from this trial will provide analysts with additional information on the suitability of methods of analysis for the determination nitrate and nitrite in foods.
* FAPAS = Food Analysis Performance Assessment Scheme which is a proficiency testing scheme in the food sector.
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