Nitrate-nitrite levels in commercially processed and home processed beets and spinach


Nitrate and nitrite content of commercially processed and home processed beets and spinach samples were analyzed using specific ion electrode and colorimetric methods. The home processed beets were found to be significantly higher in nitrate content than the commercially processed beets. This difference was attributed to differences in processing methods. Pickled and Harvard beets contained significantly lower amounts of nitrate/nitrite on a dry weight basis than the other types of processed beets, evidently due to the diluting effect of added sucrose. Home frozen spinach showed a trend toward lower nitrate content than commercially frozen spinach, although the difference was not significant. Length of storage of home processed beets and spinach did not appear to affect nitrate or nitrite content.

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Correspondence to C. Kies.

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Published as Nebraska Agricultural Research Division Journal Series 7495. Supported by funds from teh Nebraska Agricultural Research Division Project No. 91-031 and U.S.D.A. C.S.R.S. Project No. W-143.

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Bednar, C.M., Kies, C. & Carlson, M. Nitrate-nitrite levels in commercially processed and home processed beets and spinach. Plant Food Hum Nutr 41, 261–268 (1991).

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Key words

  • Nitrate
  • nitrite
  • beets
  • spinach
  • commercial food processing
  • home food preservation