If you are seen in sodium nitrate on a list of ingredients on a processed food, you may have wondered what exactly it is. Sodium nitrate is a salt, the chemical compound NaNO3. It is a type of saltpeter that is used as a food additive as well as having uses in fertilizers, fireworks, and certain other industrial applications. Sodium nitrate occurs naturally and is usually mined rather than created artificially. Sodium nitrate is primarily used in food as a preservative. It is actually found naturally in many leafy vegetables. There are some health concerns related to sodium nitrate including the increased risk of bowel cancer.
Disclaimer: While this food additive or ingredient may be currently acceptable according to the FDA standards, this may be subject to change in future. This article is for informational purposes only and does not condone the consumption of this substance. Excessive consumption may be dangerous.