Attempts were made to develop a sensitive and reproducible method to determine nitrite in cod roe. Two diazotation-coupling reaction methods were considered; (a) the method defined by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan (Method 1) and (b) the reference method of ISO (Method 2). Since the nitrite content in cod roe was much less than in meat products, Method 2 was modified to make it suitable for microanalysis at 1 ppm level as NO2. Modifications included reducing volumes of color-development solutions and making changes in the color development process, thus making the color intensity four times as great as before. Carrying out corrections with both reagent and water blanks made the effect of the blank on measured values negligible. Recoveries of nitrite at 20- and 2-ppm levels were 94.7 and 88.1%, respectively, reproducibility being ± 7 .9%, as the coefficient of variation. The obtained values by the modified method were, on the average, higher than those of the original method by 37.1%. Nitrite contents obtained by Method 1 were lower than those by the original Method 2. These low values might be attributed to loss of nitrite during extraction from the sample without pH adjustment, since the measured value showed a remarkable increase by addition of alkaline solution before extraction. Nitrite contents in imported cod roe were within the range 0.16–1.03 ppm expressed as NO2.

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Author notes

1Present address: Japan Frozen Food Inspection Institute, Kobe Laboratory 6-16, Kano-cho, Ikuta-ku, Kobe, Japan.