You Can Have Your Meat and Eat It Too!

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Or should I say,

“You Can Have Your Meat and Your Health Too!”?

Recently, there have been studies, articles and now even lawsuits surrounding processed meats and the health concerns related to colon cancer. Below are some of the relevant articles. Surely, you have seen or heard of them or perhaps even studied the subject yourself.

While the issue may seem debatable, it is not. There are literally hundreds of studies on the subject of colon cancer showing correlation to processed meats performed over several decades. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer formed a working group comprised of 22 scientists from ten countries and they studied over 800 studies before presenting their conclusion to the World Health Organization(1).

While some may still debate the issue as true or false even in the face of a tremendous amount of research, there is a real solution to eliminating concentrated nitrites in our processed meats once and for all.

The primary concern with processed meat is high concentrations of nitrite (from sodium nitrite OR from celery juice powder) which leads to the formation of potentially cancer-causing (carcinogenic) chemicals such as N-nitroso-compounds (NOC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. NOCs coupled with high temperature cooking (pan-frying, grilling, barbecuing) can also produce carcinogenic chemicals, including heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAA) and PAHs. (1)

So, why take the risk?

Processors have used nitrites for hundreds of years for food safety reasons to inhibit microbial growth such as Clostridium botulinum, inhibit lipid oxidation, and of course to give the traditional cured taste and color. Given the risk of spoilage and pathogens along with the pleasant characteristics of cured meats, the benefits outweighed the risks in the past.

Today, many processors use celery juice powder which in plain English is really, natural sodium nitrite. Still, the body (colon) recognizes it as sodium nitrite. These products are sold as “uncured” in the stores according to USDA requirements. In actuality, many of them have higher amounts of residual nitrates/nitrites especially when cherry juice powder (ascorbic acid) is not used to reduce the amount of residual nitrite in the meat through nitrite > nitric oxide > Nitrosyl-hemechrome conversion. Standard cured products use sodium nitrite and sodium erythorbate. Today’s designer “uncured” meats use celery juice powder and sometimes cherry juice powder. Different names, same chemicals.

Is there a solution to this problem?

Absolutely. Prosur is a manufacturer of natural ingredients from fruit, spice, and vegetable extracts for the purposes of yield/texture improvement, pathogen and spoilage protection, and preserving the fresh sensory properties of meats. With Prosur ingredients processors and consumers can truly “have their meat and their health too.”

The Prosur T-10 product line allows processors to make true uncured labeled meats that are not preserved through the effects of high nitrites and chemicals but rather from polyphenol and flavanoid antioxidants from Mediterranean fruits, spices, and vegetable extracts.

Truth in labeling is more important today than ever and consumers are in favor of processors making the switch to clear, honest, and transparent ingredients.

94% of consumers say, “It is important to buy from transparent brands and manufacturers.” (2)

73% of consumers would be willing to pay more for a product that offers complete transparency. (2)

67% of consumers believe the responsibility for providing information about food should come from the brand or manufacturer. (2)

65% of consumers want more information about the way their food is made. (3)

87% of Consumers say it’s okay if a company is not perfect as long as it is honest about its efforts. (4)

*62% of shoppers avoid artificial preservatives and flavors

*61% of shoppers avoid artificial colors

*59% of shoppers avoid antibiotics and hormones

*53% of shoppers avoid artificial sweeteners

**80% of all the shoppers responding to avoiding these ingredients believe these ingredients and chemicals are harmful to themselves and/or family members, citing why they avoid them. (5)

Prosur ingredients can give processors the natural ingredients they need to make healthy and transparent meats for consumers. The natural ingredients are readily available, the demand from consumers is there, and the opportunity to give true-honest-transparent natural meats has never been easier.

For more information on this subject and to get local support for Prosur ingredients:

US Distribution:

Wenda Ingredients, Naperville, IL


1. 2. Label Insight. 2016. The 2016 Label Insight Food Revolution Study. Label Insight, Chicago.

3.Sullivan Higdon & Sink. 2016. Evolving Trust in the Food Industry. Sullivan Higdon & Sink FoodThink, Wichita, Kan.

4.Cone Communications. 2015. Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study. Cone Communications, Boston.

5.Nielsen. 2016. What’s in our Food and on Our Mind. Nielsen, New York.