Taken from the FSIS Inspectors Handbook page 22

Equilibrium Brining

! Method Two

The second method assumes that the submerged meat, meat byproduct, or poultry and the cover pickle act as a single system. Over time, the ingredients in the pickle, such as nitrite and salt, migrate into the meat, meat byproduct, and poultry until levels in the tissue and in the pickle are balanced. This system is actually very complex and dynamic, with components in constant motion, but it will reach and maintain a state of equilibrium. Therefore, the calculation for ingoing nitrite is based on the green weight of the meat block, using the percent added as a relevant amount.

< Calculation Formula (using the green weight and pickle weight)

lb nitrite × 1,000,000 = ppm green weight (lb) meat block + lb pickle

In immersion cured products, this formula can be used to determine:

(1) The permitted weight of nitrite, if you know the green weight of the meat block and the weight of the pickle solution.

(2) The minimum weight of the meat block that can be submerged in the cover pickle, if you know the weight of the nitrite and the weight of the pickle solution.

(3) Whether or not a procedure will be in compliance with the regulations, if you know the weight of the nitrite, the green weight of the meat block to be immersed, and the weight of the pickle solution.