Following on from a recent thread on here…
I smoke quite a bit of bacon however I do almost all of it using dry cure. I have wet brined some bacon with mixed success however for this I have been blindly following the recipes of others.
When dry curing it is straightforward to calculate the maximum possible amount of Nitrite that can be in your bacon as it cannot exceed the total amount added with the cure. If not all of it penetrates then at least you will end up with less than the desired cure and not more.
After my recent wakeup call – where I found that a common commercial brand of cure over here, when used as directed actually exceeded the EU maximum levels for both Nitrite and Nitrate, I am finding myself asking some basic questions again. Also the large differences in the various brines that are quoted (on here and in published curing books) is adding to my unease.
When using an immersion cure there is relatively so much nitrite added to the brine that the potential for exceeding the maximum permitted levels would at least seem a possibility. The calculations all seems to depend on a figure that is being quoted that says you only get a 10-12% take up of cure from the brine into the meat. I am not currently disputing this is fact but I am just looking for a credible scientific source where this has been quantitatively demonstrated.
It is probably staring me in the face and I have just missed it, but if any of you can point me to a credible document/paper where this has been shown to be the case I will feel much more comfortable.