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J AOAC Int. 2005 Nov-Dec;88(6):1793-6.

Ion chromatographic determination of nitrate and nitrite in vegetable and fruit baby foods.

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Southeast Regional Laboratory, 60 Eighth St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA.


An ion chromatographic method was developed for the determination of nitrate and nitrite in vegetable and fruit baby foods. The introduction of nitrate or nitrite to food may be natural or artificial as a preservative. Because of the higher pH found in babies' stomachs, nitrate can act as a reservoir for the production of nitrite by nitrate-reducing bacteria that can be harbored in the intestinal tract. This problem does not exist in adults because of the lower pH of the adult stomach. Exposure to nitrite by infants can result in methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome). There are also indications that carcinogenic nitrosamines can be formed from nitrates at the higher pH. These gastric conditions disappear at approximately 6 months of age. In this method, nitrate and nitrite were separated on a hydroxide-selective anion exchange column using online electrolytically generated high-purity hydroxide eluant and detected using suppressed conductivity detection. Average recoveries of spiked nitrite residue ranged from 91 to 104% and spiked nitrate residue ranged from 87 to 104%. This method and the AOAC Official Method yield comparable results for samples containing incurred nitrate residue. In addition, this method eliminates the hazardous waste associated with the use of cadmium found in the AOAC Official Method.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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