Contribution of vegetables and cured meat to dietary nitrate and nitrite intake in Italian population: Safe level for cured meat and controversial role of vegetables

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Rossana Roila
Raffaella Branciari *
Benedetta Staccini
David Ranucci
Dino Miraglia
Maria Serena Altissimi
Maria Lucia Mercuri
Naceur M. Haouet
(*) Corresponding Author:
Raffaella Branciari |


Nitrate and nitrite content was determined on a total of 900 samples of vegetables and cured meat and the nitrite and nitrate exposure assessment was evaluated for central Italy population based on the food consumption data reported by the national dietary surveys. The highest average content of nitrate was detected in rocket salad (4415 mg/kg) and radish (3817 mg/kg) and for cured meat in “Bresaola” (188 mg/kg) and in Bacon (178 mg/kg). The nitrite content was negligible both in vegetables than in cured meat. The average consumption among population resulted 3.45 g/kg bw/die and 0.62 g/kg bw/die for vegetables and cured meat respectively. The obtained data confirm that nitrate ADI was higher than the limits of 3.7 mg/kg bw/die for infants and was the highest exposure level for people of all ages. Cured meat consumption did not contribute to nitrate ADI exceedance neither as a mean nor as 99th percentile of exposure.

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