Nitrite Assessment of Processed Meat Products Commonly Consumed in Ghana

Thumbnail Image
MAY, 2017
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
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 and carcinogenic effects 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) sold on the Ghanaian market. A total of 300 questionnaires were administered to all categories of ages in the study population in the Ayawaso West Sub Metro, Accra. Participants were made to fill out the 24 h food frequency questionnaire. A total of Fifty (50) samples of different types and brands of processed meat products were randomly selected and analyzed for nitrite residues by spectrophotometric method. The mean nitrite content in the samples was 139.85 mg/kg and the mean daily intake estimated at 114.89 mg/kg/day. Significant to the findings of this research is that the nitrite levels exceed the WHO/EU recommended levels of 125mg/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. This means that, the risk quotient or hazard quotient was far greater than 1, which was indicative of adverse health effect to the consumers.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Quality Management.