Journal of Food Security
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Journal of Food Security. 2019, 7(3), 90-96
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-7-3-4
Open AccessArticle

Nitrite Assessment of Processed Meat Products Commonly Consumed in Ghana

Joyce Duah1, 2, Jacob K. Agbenorhevi1, , David Adu-Poku3 and Francis O. Antwi1

1Department of Food Science and Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

2Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana

3Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana

Pub. Date: July 24, 2019

Cite this paper:
Joyce Duah, Jacob K. Agbenorhevi, David Adu-Poku and Francis O. Antwi. Nitrite Assessment of Processed Meat Products Commonly Consumed in Ghana. Journal of Food Security. 2019; 7(3):90-96. doi: 10.12691/jfs-7-3-4


Sodium and potassium salts of nitrite are used in meat products as preservative, antioxidant and colour fixative. However, high levels of these chemicals pose risks such as toxicity due to the formation of nitroso compounds originated from nitrite sources. The present study was conducted to assess the nitrite residual levels and to evaluate the health risk of consumers from exposure of nitrite in commonly consumed processed meat products (sausage, corned beef and bacon) on the Ghanaian market. A total of 300 questionnaires were administered to various age groups in the study population in the Ayawaso West Sub Metro, Accra. Participants were made to fill out the 24 h food frequency questionnaire. Fifty (50) different types and brands of processed meat products were randomly selected and analyzed for nitrite residues by spectrophotometric method. The effect of boiling, frying and grilling as cooking methods commonly employed were investigated. The mean nitrite content in the samples was 139.85 mg/kg and the mean daily intake estimated at 114.89 mg/kg/day. Significantly, the nitrite levels found in this study was higher than the WHO/EU recommended levels of 125 mg/kg in processed meat. First order Monte Carlo simulation at 10,000 iterations estimated chronic daily intake of nitrite as 5.05 mg/kg/day. Subsequently, the average risk of consumption of processed meat within the limits of reference dose of nitrite (0.33 mg/Bw/day) for the studied population was estimated at 15.65 (>>1) indicating of adverse health effect to the consumers. Overall, boiling was safer cooking method for cured meat and sausages found on the Ghanaian market.

sausage cooking method residual nitrite exposure and risk

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