Use of nitrate in the manufacture of certain cheeses is sometimes questioned because of its potential involvement in formation of N-nitrosamines. Unlike cured meats, there was not much information available, until recently, regarding the presence of N-nitrosamines in cheese and other dairy products. This paper briefly reviews the mechanism of formation of such compounds in foods and discusses the necessity of selective and sensitive methods of analysis. Factors which may possibly influence formation of N-nitrosamines in cheese as well as further areas of research are also discussed.

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Author notes

1Present address: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824.