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Ventricina is a traditional sausage made from pork meat produced in the Abruzzi and Molise regions. The aim of this study was to detect the content of nitrates and nitrites in local cultivars of chilli pepper, and their concentration in ventricina samples spiced with the same chilli pepper. Furthermore, it was examined whether, in the samples of ventricina with nitrate addition, the spicing with chilli pepper could exceed the maximum added dose. The concentration of nitrates and nitrites in the organic chilli pepper was 531.0±94.6 mg/kg and less than 5.0 mg, respectively, in the traditional chilli pepper it was 394.0±39.6 and less than 5.0 mg, while in the commercial it was 325.0±115.0 and less than 5.0 mg. The determination of nitrites and nitrates was carried out by high performance ion chromatography. In ventricina samples produced without added sodium nitrate, nitrates and nitrites were below 5.0 mg/kg at the case-filling time (t0) and after 50 days of aging (t50). In the samples of ventricina with added sodium nitrate, nitrate concentration values were 134.0±20.9 mg/kg at t0 and 129.0±15.4 mg/kg at t50, while the nitrites were below 5.0 mg/kg at t0 and 28.8±15.8 mg/kg at t50. Although in ventricina the amount of chilli pepper is quite relevant, it did not lead to a detectable concentration of nitrates. The maximum allowed amount was never exceeded.
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