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    Home > Food News > Nutrition News > Will there be nitrite in hot pot?

    Will there be nitrite in hot pot?

    • Last Update: 2022-04-16
    • Source: Internet
    • Author: User
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    Original: Fan Zhihong
     
    Recently, there was a food safety news, saying that nitrite was detected in self-heating hot pot
    .
     
    The news didn't elicit much emotional reaction from diners
    .
    Because after years of food safety science education, netizens have established the scientific and rational thinking of "dosage determines toxicity"

    .
     
    As can be seen from the title, the amount of nitrite detected in self-heating hot pot is relatively limited
    .
    If it was really high, the word "detected" would not be used

    .
    The term detected is now commonly used in the context of "detectable, but not exceeding"

    .
     
    The two products detected this time have the highest nitrite content of 7.
    10mg/kg and 7.
    95mg/kg respectively

    .
    Neither the standards for processed vegetables nor the standards for processed meat are exceeded

    .
     
    According to this content, to reach the amount of nitrite food poisoning, it means eating at least ten kilograms of self-heating hot pot food, which is obviously impossible
    .
     
    Therefore, if you want to eat self-heating hot pot, you can continue to eat happily
    .
     
    There may not be many people who eat self-heating hot pot, but there are many people who eat ordinary hot pot
    .
     
    Someone asked me: Is there a problem with nitrite in ordinary hot pot? I have long heard that there is not only the problem of high purines in hot pot soup, but also the problem of too much nitrite!
     
    I checked the literature and found that the food safety related research on hot pot mainly focuses on the following aspects:
     
    One is the detection of the content of several alkaloids such as papaverine in the hot pot base material, as well as the detection of the content of food additives;
     
    The second is whether the oil used in the hot pot base and hot pot dip is safe and qualified, and whether it is excessively oxidized;
     
    The third is the dissolution of heavy metal substances in the hot pot base;
     
    Fourth, the nitrite content in the hot pot
    .
     
    In addition, there are also studies on purine changes in hot pot cooking
    .
    Because purine is not a toxic substance and has nothing to do with food safety, it is only related to hyperuricemia patients and gout patients who need to pay attention to purine content

    .
     
    Papaverine and other ingredients, as well as other food additives, are caused by deliberate additions, and we can only rely on strict inspections by the regulatory authorities
    .
    The quality of the fat in the hot pot base and dipping sauce is also related to the self-discipline of the manufacturer, as well as the storage conditions and storage time

    .
    If the time is too long or the storage temperature is too high, the quality will continue to decline, the oxidative rancidity index will gradually increase, and the flavor will also deteriorate

    .
     
    However, when a large amount of heavy flavorings are added, consumers may not be able to eat them, thus ingesting more oxidized fats
    .
     
    The composition of heavy metals is more complex.
    In addition to the soup base, the base material and the shabu-shabu, it also comes from the container of the hot pot, such as a copper pot or a clay pot

    .
     
    Some studies have found that the cadmium content in the soup after 5 hours in the hot pot soup made from pine mushrooms, tea tree mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms and other mushrooms as the main ingredients exceeds the standard, but the content of other heavy metals is still within the safe range.

    .
     

     
    There are also studies comparing the dissolution of heavy metals after long-term boiling of copper, stainless steel and ceramic pots
    .
    It was found that there was almost no dissolution of heavy metals when boiled with water, but if sauerkraut was boiled for 6 hours, more mercury, lead and a small amount of cadmium, nickel and chromium were dissolved in the copper pot; more lead, chromium, nickel and a small amount of cadmium were dissolved in the stainless steel pot.
    ; The ceramic pot dissolved a small amount of mercury, as well as trace amounts of lead and cadmium

    .
    The researchers suggest that it is relatively safe to use a ceramic pot when eating sauerkraut hot pot, and the time is best controlled within 2 hours

    .
     
    Personally, I believe that the specific risks are closely related to the quality of the products using the pot body, and cannot be generalized
    .
     
    Here, I will focus on discussing the nitrite problem in hot pot, and then briefly talk about purine and other problems
    .
     
    Nitrite was once a key hidden danger of hot pot food safety
    .
    In general, after 2010, due to the increasingly standardized food safety management in China, the occurrence of nitrite poisoning due to eating hot pot has rarely occurred

    .
    Having said that, this issue still deserves our attention

    .
    Because in the long-term cooking process, the increased nitrite may also react with amines dissolved in meat, fish and seafood to synthesize nitrosamine carcinogens

    .
     
    Where does the nitrite in hot pot come from?
     
    Hot pot will not produce nitrite out of thin air, it is either brought in from the raw materials or converted from nitrate
    .
     
    Because nitrite is widely present in a variety of foods, including vegetables and processed meats
    .
    There are meat, seafood and vegetables in the hot pot

    .
    Because nitrite is easily soluble in water, the nitrite in these foods will run into the hot pot soup with cooking

    .
     
    1.
    Fresh vegetables
     
    The nitrite content of fresh vegetables is very low, usually less than 4mg/kg
    .
    But both leafy and root vegetables contain a lot of nitrates

    .
    They are not toxic by themselves, but can provide the raw material for making nitrite

    .
     
    After the vegetables are harvested, they still have to be transported and sold.
    After they are purchased by catering companies, they may not be eaten on the same day

    .
    With the extension of storage time, the content of nitrite in raw vegetables will gradually increase

    .
    Even in one's own home, in the refrigerator compartment, it will slowly increase, such as from a few milligrams per kilogram to more than a dozen milligrams

    .
    Plus, in many restaurants, they may not be refrigerated at all

    .
    However, if you take the vegetables out and cook them and see them in good condition, with no wilting, yellowing, leaf loss, or even water damage (like blisters), then the risk of having too much nitrite is minimal

    .
    Once it reaches the state of falling leaves or even water damage, the content of nitrite is out of control, and it must not be eaten again! From this point of view, the vegetables in the hot pot restaurant are usually well-done, and they can guarantee the "appearance", while the vegetables at home may wilt and lose their leaves and are reluctant to throw them away.
    .
    .
     
    However, even if the leafy and root vegetables look fresh, some of the nitrates they contain will be converted into nitrites after they are dissolved in the hot pot soup and then repeatedly tumbled and cooked (I learned this in my middle school chemistry class).
    response)

    .
    Chinese cabbage, baby cabbage, various green leafy vegetables, radishes and other common vegetables in shabu-shabu are all nitrate-rich ingredients

    .
    Therefore, after cooking a lot of vegetables, the nitrate content in the hot pot soup will gradually increase over time

    .
     
    2.
    Processed vegetables
     
    Some sauerkraut, pickles, dried mushrooms and fungus, and even processed vegetables such as canned vegetables and quick-frozen vegetables may also be added to the hot pot
    .
    According to China's food safety standards, the nitrite content of processed vegetable products should be less than 20mg/kg

    .
    Such as kimchi, sauerkraut, salted vegetables, pickles, frozen vegetables and canned vegetables, all need to follow this standard

    .
     
    Qualified vegetable processed products are actually quite safe
    .
    After blanching, cooking and other processes, the nitrate content in the raw materials has been reduced, and the risk of producing a large amount of nitrite is extremely small

    .
    Vegetable dry goods have to be soaked, and most of the nitrates and nitrites will be dissolved during soaking, so there is no risk of producing a large amount of nitrite

    .
     
    However, when restaurants supply fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi, if the craftsmanship of the homemade products is substandard, there is contamination by miscellaneous bacteria, and the fermentation time does not reach more than 20 days, it is very easy to introduce too much nitrite
    .


     
    3.
    Fish, seafood and other animal ingredients
     
    Meat, fish and other fresh ingredients also naturally contain nitrite
    .
    But it is also very low, with a few milligrams per kilogram

    .
    However, stale fish and shrimp, as well as various processed meat products, have much higher nitrite content

    .
     
    For example, sausage, ham, bacon, luncheon meat, etc.
    , all of which will contain nitrite.
    The permitted residue in China is 30-70mg/kg (depending on the specific product, and some countries even relax it to 100mg/kg)

    .
    This is much higher than that measured in self-heating hot pot

    .
    Do you still want to eat? When eating shabu-shabu in a restaurant, be very careful to observe whether the shabu-shabu meat is marinated with sodium nitrite

    .
     
    In order to make the meat not easy to spoil, some stores may add sodium nitrite to marinate it, so that it turns pink after being cooked, looks good, and tastes like ham
    .
    To tenderize meat, meat is treated with tenderizer powder, which may also contain sodium nitrite

    .
    The sodium nitrite added during pickling may dissolve from the meat and run into the soup

    .
     
    Gansu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a literature report, testing 45 hot pot soups in 24 urban and rural hot pot restaurants
    .
    It was found that the detection rate of nitrite was 74.
    4%

    .
    Comparing the content in the head soup (the soup at the beginning of eating) and the tail soup (the soup at the end of the meal), it is found that the nitrite content in the tail soup will increase to varying degrees, and the highest increase can reach the head soup 116 times

    .
    The average content of head soup is 1.
    4mg/kg, the highest is 4.
    0 mg/kg, which is quite safe; the average nitrite content of tail soup is 5.
    1mg/kg, which is not high in general; but the maximum value is 58mg/kg, this The concentration is already worrying, and it is not suitable for drinking

    .
     
    4.
    Other sources
     
    In addition, there is also a small amount of nitrite in the hot pot base, but its content usually meets the national standard
    .
    In the hot pot seasoning, the added chives, green onion, chopped parsley, etc.
    , if the raw materials are not fresh, a small amount of nitrite may be introduced

    .
    However, after all, the total amount of food eaten is not large, so there is basically no need to worry about the risk of poisoning

    .
     
    By the way, nitrite is a toxic substance, but not a highly toxic substance
    .
    If it is a highly toxic substance, a few milligrams can kill people, such as arsenic, such as aflatoxin, such as rice yeast acid,

    etc.
    As for nitrite, it is possible to have a toxic reaction after eating hundreds of milligrams at a time

    .
     
    Let's talk about the purine problem in hot pot
     
    The soup will not produce purine out of thin air.
    It is because the soup base contains purine, or the purine in the ingredients dissolves and runs into the soup

    .
     
    The purine content in hot pot soup may be affected by several factors:
     
    (1) What soup base was used
     
    With seafood soup base and broth soup base, the purine content is relatively high
    .
    If you use white water as the soup base, the purine content in the soup will be very low when you first eat it

    .
     
    (2) How much fish and seafood are added
     
    If you just rinse green vegetables, it will not produce a lot of purines
    .
    Even if you cook mushrooms, there will not be a lot of purines, because the content of purines in fresh mushrooms is lower than that in meat.
    The so-called high purines in mushrooms comes from the data of dried mushrooms

    .
    Who would eat so many dried mushrooms? After the water is made, the content will be greatly reduced

    .
     
    As fish, shrimp, and meat are simmered, the purine content in the soup will continue to rise
    .
    After you start rinsing the meat in the soup, the purine content in the meat will drop

    .
    But as the soup gets thicker and thicker, the purine content gets higher and higher, and eventually, the content in the soup will even exceed the content in the meat

    .
    At this time, the purine content in the boiled meat will not decrease at all

    .
    Even the vegetables that are boiled in the soup, because the purine in the soup enters the dish, the purine content becomes higher.
    .
    .
     
    (3) Cooking time and concentration of soup
     
    If you add more water, the soup will be diluted
    .
    If you add more ingredients and less water, the content in the soup will increase

    .
     
    Considering nutritional issues together, in order to eat hot pot safely and healthily, there are several points to pay attention to:
     
    (1) Don't leave the shabu-shabu for too long
    .
    The longer the time, the greater the risk that some of the nitrates in the vegetables will become nitrites, and the greater the risk of leaching out heavy metals

    .
    Best eaten within 1 hour

    .
     
    (2) The total amount of fish and meat should not be too much.
    The ratio of fish and vegetables should be 1:1 to 1:2

    .
    In this way, sufficient vitamin C and antioxidant substances can be obtained, which is beneficial to reduce the formation of nitrosamine carcinogens and maintain nutritional balance

    .
    Especially when eating self-heating hot pot, because the vegetables in it are very limited and not fresh enough, it is best to add some fresh green leafy vegetables or add two tomatoes

    .
    In this way, there is no worry of nitrite, and it can increase vitamins and dietary fiber and improve nutritional balance

    .
     
    (3) The cooking time of vegetables should not be too long, and they should be taken out and eaten in time to avoid excessive loss of vitamins and antioxidants
    .
     
    (4) When the soup already contains a lot of fat, adding vegetables may envelop the fat on the surface of the soup
    .
    So let's put the table
    Skim off the oil slick on the noodles and add the vegetables
    .
     
    (5) Pay attention to the freshness of various ingredients, and also pay attention to whether sodium nitrite is added to meat ingredients
    .
    Meat with sodium nitrite added will appear pink when cooked, rather than light brown or white

    .
     
    (6) It is best to choose a clear soup pot with a lower starting content of salt and fat
    .
     
    (7) Pay attention to the freshness of the hot pot base and dip
    .
    If the taste is not fresh, don't try this restaurant next time

    .
     
    If you need to control the blood uric acid level, then you need to cook less fish and seafood, and avoid drinking hot pot soup that has been cooked for a long time
    .
    If you want to drink soup, drink it early before the purine content rises

    .
    If you want to eat meat, you should also eat it at the beginning of rinsing.
    At this time, the content of purine in the meat after rinsing can be less

    .
    May wish to eat more vegetables and less meat

    .
     
    Finally, there is one finding worth mentioning
    .
    Studies have found that after eating a hot pot meal at night, the cortisol levels in the plasma of subjects will rise significantly, which may have an impact on the levels of stress hormones the next day

    .
    This reminds us that eating hot pot is good for a while, but it may be more nervous the next day.
    .
    .

     
    This article is an English version of an article which is originally in the Chinese language on echemi.com and is provided for information purposes only. This website makes no representation or warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness ownership or reliability of the article or any translations thereof. If you have any concerns or complaints relating to the article, please send an email, providing a detailed description of the concern or complaint, to service@echemi.com. A staff member will contact you within 5 working days. Once verified, infringing content will be removed immediately.

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