Nitrate and nitrite are used as food preservatives but also derive from fertilisers used in agriculture. They are often detected in contaminated drinking water, cured meat products as well as fruits and vegetables. Exposure at high levels can result in severe health issues. Regulatory limits exist for nitrate and nitrite in a variety of food products in the EU and elsewhere. High nitrate levels used in aquaculture may result in unintentional high nitrate concentrations in farmed fish.
Nitrates are useful within an array of foodstuffs. They can be used to improve both appearance and flavours of meats and are particularly seen within cured meats. They are also effective preservatives and have been used to prevent spoilage from bacterial growth on these foodstuffs.
Although not currently listed as harmful there are strict regulatory limits which challenge food testing laboratories to achieve credible, repeatable results across a range of testing environments to ensure food quality standards are being maintained, and therefore protecting the consumer.
Fapas quality control materials make use of real food matrices, from which to provide direct comparison with your real world testing arrangement. Through effective quality assurance methods areas of improvement can be addressed, from which to achieve high quality testing and control any areas of bias which may negatively affect results. Through activities such as staff training and instrumentation verification this bias can be addressed.