10/25/2011 7:19:15 AM
A U.S. government requirement that vitamin C or one of its close relatives be added to hot dogs, to reduce the amount of nitrites found in this popular food, may not have lowered the rate of colon cancer cases after all, a new study suggests. Back in 1978, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandated that the meat industry include vitamin C (ascorbate) or its close cousin, erythorbate, in hot dogs to offset the amount of nitrites. Nitrites are added to cured, processed meats such as hot dogs to enhance their flavor and color, and to extend their shelf life. The problem is that during the cooking process, nitrites combine with amines in meat to form cancer-causing nitrosamines.
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