The ability to preserve and sustain virtually any and all food items well past their natural expiration date is a marvel of modern culinary capabilities. But in recent years, a backlash has swelled against a number of preservation techniques and ingredients used in our food as the long-term, often negative, health impacts of certain food additives has come into focus. And perhaps no food chemicals or compounds have become more controversial than nitrites and nitrates, which led Ball Park Franks to remove both from its products in 2017 (via Tyson Foods).
Nitrites and nitrates are both naturally-occurring compounds found in a number of plant-based foods, and are also often used to preserve processed foods (via Healthline). But according to research published in the academic journal, Antioxidants, both compounds can possibly become carcinogenic once metabolized by the body. — adding to public concern about using them so prominently to preserve foods, like hot dogs.
Understanding the average consumer’s preference to avoid harmful food preservatives whenever possible, Ball Park opted to eliminate both chemicals entirely from its franks. As brand director, Colleen Hall, told The National Provisioner in 2017, the company hoped to offer “transparency” to consumers regarding its products, and ensure customers could “feel even better when choosing Ball Park” foods in the future.
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