Background and Objectives: Sodium nitrite and potassium nitrite have been traditionally used for inhibition of Clostridium botulinum and also as an agent to stabilize the color of meat products; however, usage of these additives at high levels could lead to toxicity and cancer originating from the formation of nitrosamines. Nowadays, application of natural preservatives in order to reduce the nitrite content in meat products is increasing. Thus, we used dry red grape pomace (DRGP) as a natural alternative to sodium nitrite.
Materials and Methods: The effect of two levels of DRGP (1 and 2%) on the proximate composition, microbial counts, pH values and residual nitrite level of the samples formulated with two levels of sodium nitrite (30 and 60 mg/kg), as well as the comparison of these sausages with the blank (nitrite-free) and control (full nitrite added) samples on the 1rst, 10th, 20th and 30th days of storage at 3-5 °C were evaluated.
Results: The results showed that all chemical compositions were in the ranges reported by other researchers, and nitrite was very effective in preventing the microbial growth. Also about 50 % of the ingoing nitrite could be analyzed in the samples after processing. Moreover, the residual nitrite level declined both during the storage of sausage and after the addition of DRGP.
Conclusions: The use of DRGP in combination with nitrite for sausages was more effective in keeping the quality and safety of the refrigerated consumer products as indicated by the lower nitrite levels, microbial count and similar composition as compared to the samples treated with nitrite and without nitrite.
Keywords: Dry red grape pomace (DRGP), Sausage, Nitrite, Microbial count