The study was conducted to examine nitrite levels in processed meat products (sausage, salami, bacon, and ham) marketed in Dharan City and to determine the effect of common methods of processing on residual nitrite levels in sausages. Preliminary survey was conducted to know the popular processed meat products. Total of 44 samples were analyzed for nitrite levels and 10 sausage samples were subjected to two different heat processing methods: Frying and boiling. The nitrite contents in all samples were found to fall within the mandatory limits by the Nepal government with a wide range of variation (3.18-101.26 ppm). Both frying and boiling reduced the residual nitrite level in sausages with greater reduction by boiling at 100°C for 15 min. As long as the measured nitrite level in the sausages produced continues, the level of nitrite is not considered to pose a major risk to human health or safety.
Key words: Nitrite level, processed meat, sausages, heat processing, Dharan.
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