Nitrite additives in sausages form carcinogens

Certain components that are used in one of the most consumed foods in the world (especially by children) could cause cancer. This has been revealed by different studies of recent times. The consumption of sausages and especially the nitrite it contains could be a risk factor for small ones.

Data on the consumption of sausages and certain diseases

One of the research linked the intake of sausages and other similar foods to patients suffering from leukemia. For this, we analyzed the diets of the children from birth until they turned 10 years. Those who consumed more than 12 sausages a month were nine times more likely to suffer from this disease. blood . And attention, because The risk was also present in the case of mothers who ate at least 12 sausages a month before becoming pregnant or during gestation.

On the other hand, a study in the city of Denver, USA, revealed that children whose mothers had eaten at least once a week sausages during the pregnancy Had twice the risk of developing tumors in the brain, almost like those who consumed this food assiduously.

Why can sausages cause cancer?

One of the main problems of this food so requested by children is that it contains nitrites as preservatives, in order to combat botulism. While the sausages are cooked, these nitrites combine with other natural components of the meat and form compounds called N-nitroses, carcinogenic.

It is also believed that nitrites are combined in the stomach and form the same substance, related to cancer of the bladder, brain, stomach, kidney , Esophagus and oral cavity. All"cured"meats have nitrites, not just sausages. The same is true for hamburgers and bacon.

Likewise, not all the sausages we find on the market have nitrites. We realize which ones are full of this substance by the color of the food. If they are a very reddish color (associated with the freshness of the meat), then, it is because too much preservative has been used.

Nitrite-free sausages are those that have a more light brown or skin color. However, do not be fooled, as food companies know how to combine other compounds to make it appear that there are not so many nitrites.

Firstly, you need to consume sausages that are homemade, not industrial type. The first ones are obtained in the farms, the fairs and some butchers. Industrialists are in the markets and come in sealed packages.

Further, It is advised not to eat more than 12 sausages a month, no matter what type they are. You can order a free nitrite brand in your usual market and find out at your children's school which ones are good for lunch.

It is true that some vegetables have nitrites too (especially green ones such as lettuce , Celery or spinach), however, the consumption of these vegetables reduces the risk of cancer. This is possible because they do not form n-nitroses even when boiled. Vegetable nitrite is beneficial because it contains Vitamins C And D, which precisely inhibit the production of n-nitroses. Therefore, they are not dangerous to our health, but quite the contrary.

How are sausages made?

If you are still curious about this food or the research on nitrites has not completely convinced you, perhaps it would be good if you knew what the sausages are made of. Then you can choose whether or not to continue eating them.

It is one of the most consumed foods around the world and at the same time, the oldest, and has some secrets that are worth unveiling . We are referring, of course, to the industrialists, who are bought in the market and whose origins are somewhat"scabrous".

Doctors, nutritionists, scientists and researchers have analyzed each of the components that are part of the sausages , Which in other countries are known as hot dogs, panchos, frankfurters or Viennese. There are about 35 different types, but we will refer to the classic"Vienna sausages". Each one is characterized by its aromas, textures, flavors and above all, ingredients.

The components and techniques that most brands share, among industrialized sausages, are:

Mechanically separated meat

The meat of sausages is poultry and comes from different types of poultry, especially chicken, chicken and turkey. The birds are plucked and placed in a mechanical system that separates bones Of the flesh. This can also be done with cows or pigs, but it is more difficult. In a microscopic analysis of the meat of the sausages, we can observe a great variety of crushed tissues and bones, as well as nerves, cartilages, blood vessels, skin, etc.

Flavors and water

As second ingredient of sausages we find water. Food regulations indicate that at least 10% of each unit should be water. However, in some brands have been found up to 50%. We may think that this is good for health, however, the problem is not water itself, but with what is mixed. The flavorings are diluted in water and depend on the regulations of the particular country. They are chemical agents, essences or flavorings to make them more spicy or with more flavor.

Salt and corn syrup

These two ingredients are present in large amounts throughout the fast food. In the case of corn syrup (or syrup) is used to provide the food with a consistency, a texture and a sweetness similar to homemade or traditional sausage. On the other hand, Salt (Sodium chloride) is needed for processing, although they are often exceeded in proportions. For example, a sausage has almost 500 mg of salt, that is, 20% of the recommended daily amount.

Sodium phosphates and potassium lactates


Sodium phosphate is a mixture of sodium salts and phosphoric acid and functions as an additive. In this specific case it interacts with proteins (render them"useless"), increases juiciness and reduces water loss . In relation to potassium lactate is a type of salt that is used as regulator of acidity and antioxidant. It is a meat preservative because it has antimicrobial properties (kills harmful bacteria).

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