Product Shelf Life

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Product Shelf Life

Postby scfnet » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:38 am

A few years ago I purchased some cures etc and never got around to using them. Thought I would have another attempt and checked the dates on them and they are best before 2010. As they are unopened and have been stored in the dark, do you think they would be ok?

The products are

All purpose curing salt - still free flowing
Cure #1 - still free flowing
BBQ seasoning - gone a bit hard so probably not

Thanks

Alastair
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Re: Product Shelf Life

Postby Thewitt » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:51 am

I don't believe salt + sodium nitrite would expire if kept dry.

What could possibly cause this to have a best used by date?
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Re: Product Shelf Life

Postby bwalt822 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:04 pm

There was a thread on here about this before. I think the conclusion was that the nitrate in cure#2 can slowly convert to nitrite and therefore it could be possible for cure #2 to "expire" I don't think that cure#1 can expire.

The BBQ seasoning is probably still ok if it tastes ok and can be broken back up to a powder.

I could be wrong about this though...
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Re: Product Shelf Life

Postby wheels » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:13 pm

bwalt822 wrote:There was a thread on here about this before. I think the conclusion was that the nitrate in cure#2 can slowly convert to nitrite and therefore it could be possible for cure #2 to "expire" I don't think that cure#1 can expire.

The BBQ seasoning is probably still ok if it tastes ok and can be broken back up to a powder.

I could be wrong about this though...


I think that it's the other way around. There is a 'potential' for the nitrite to convert to nitrate. With this in mind, I wouldn't use it for crucial projects.

Phil
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Re: Product Shelf Life

Postby Thewitt » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:41 am

Phil,

Can you describe the conditions that would encourage sodium nitrite to convert to sodium nitrate? It's my limited understanding this would require free O2 as well as a catalyst, such as a high alkaline environment.

So a bacteria producing ammonium nitrate or other similar reaction would be necessary.

Am I misremembering my chemistry?

I keep my cures in dry, sealed containers and cannot imagine how they might be compromised.

-t
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Re: Product Shelf Life

Postby wheels » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:52 pm

I'm no scientist, so no, I can't. Hence why I worded my post as I did. :D

I know it can happen and felt it would be remiss of me not to add to Bwalt's post.

I'd be interested to know whether this means that the nitrite can convert to nitrate by oxidation in storage, and then react with the bacteria in the meat and convert back to nitrite?

I'm sure that there are members who can tell us both how it happens, and the likelihood of it happening?

Phil
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Re: Product Shelf Life

Postby Thewitt » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:14 pm

What I do know is nitrite is the unstable state and nitrate is the stable state, so though conversion requires a catalyst, it can certainly happen. Under what storage conditions is interesting. Oxidation will not cause this to happen spontaneously however.

Should you get a conversion to nitrate - though it would likely never be 100% in a kitchen environment - it would certainly break down into nitrite inside a sausage under curing conditions.
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Re: Product Shelf Life

Postby scfnet » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:09 pm

Thanks for the replies.

I guess it would be safer to start again. The cost of the replacements will be less than the cost of the ruined end product if the cures etc have gone bad. Not to mention the minor health risk.

Thanks again

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