Sodium nitrate is a crystalline salt which is also known as saltpeter used as a fertilizer, in curing meat (preservative) and an oxidizing agent, also to make explosives and fireworks. Research has shown that sodium nitrate can help prevent the growth listeria monocytogenes which is an environmental bacterium that can cause illness.
- It is an anti-oxidant that is clear and odorless crystalline salt/ white solid which is highly soluble in water. It serves a vital public health function by blocking the growth of botulism which causes bacteria and prevents spoilage, it also gives colour and flavor to cured meats.
- In preserving meat like hot dogs, smoked fish, bologna, bacon, ham, salami and other deli meats it creates a distinct flavor, controls lipid oxidation by preventing the growth of the bacteria that will spoil the meat, and then preserves it with red or pink colour. It is not added to tuna or chicken as there’s no red colour.
- In making chemically strengthened glass, sodium nitrate is used in two stages. The glass is resistant to scratching, has improved impact with bending strength, increased temperature stability.
- In the growth of plants nitrogen is important and it is contains in sodium nitrate as such it is used as a fertilizer.