A study, published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, looked at replacement of nitrite in meat products by plant products including resveratrol, and N-nitroso compounds as a measure of colorectal cancer risk.
Dr Duane Mellor, Registered Dietitian and Senior Teaching Fellow, Aston Medical School, Aston University, said:
“It is good that traditional products such as herbs are being rediscovered as ways of preserving meat and that these ways might be healthier than brining type methods for making sausages and bacon. Although the suggestion is that it is an extract of Japanese knotweed that is being used, it a compound called resveratrol which is also found in grapes and red wine. So, it is perhaps less important that this compound is obtained from Japanese knotweed, it is more that a range of compounds which have antioxidant properties obtained from vegetables and fruit are able to help preserve meat products and through storage and digestion lead to less carcinogenic compounds being produced.
“Although this may help resolve one of the health challenges from consuming bacon and sausages, their salt and fat intake needs to be considered as these may not be desirable health wise, so perhaps sausages and bacon are not quite health foods yet.”
‘Replacement of Nitrite in Meat Products by Natural Bioactive Compounds Results in Reduced Exposure to N-Nitroso Compounds: The PHYTOME Project’ by Simone G. van Breda et al. was published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
Dr Duane Mellor: “No conflicts of interest.”