Does Italian Sausage Have Nitrates? – All You Need to Know

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Every meat lover’s favorite form of meat is sausage. And this meat product is always there, whether you have a luxurious breakfast at the hotel or in the cafe near the workplace. Sausage is high in protein and energy. On top of that, it is simply irresistible.

But you should also check the sausage ingredients when health is a concern for you. You may find some chemicals harmful to your heart, kidney, and other organs in some sausages. To help you with that, we will answer one of the most common questions on the internet in detail: does Italian sausage have nitrates? Well, keep reading to find out.

Nitrates and Nitrites used in Meat Products

Meat Products

Nitrates (gm/kg)

Nitrites (gm/kg)

Italian sausage

11.3 – 246.5

17.3 – 25.8


7.8 – 162.1



11.6 – 310.6

47.3 – 71.4

Canned meat

13.5 – 44.3

10 – 52.7


17.8 – 223.4

18.6 – 21

Chili Sausage

13.4 – 2575.2

13.4 – 19.3

Source : Science Direct Journal

What Is So Special About Italian Sausage?

What Is So Special About Italian Sausage

Italian sausages are very much pungent in taste. They have vivid colors, which makes them appealing to people. They are long in shape, and when they are kept curled up, you might mistake them for a red snake.

The fennel is what usually makes Italian sausages stand out. Fennel is a licorice-scented herb that makes it different from other kinds of sausage because its flavor is unique.

Traditionally, Italian sausages are made with fennel as the primary seasoning and are among the best-tasting pork sausages globally. There are two types of Italian sausage: hot and sweet.

The most common type of hot sausage is made from pork, and it is seasoned with spices including salt, red pepper flakes, garlic or garlic powder, curry powder, and anise.

On the other hand, the sweet Italian sausages are seasoned with salt, garlic/ garlic powder, and anise. Only the pepper flakes are left out in the sweet sausages.

However, different types of Italian sausages are typically sold in different countries. They’re typically sold in supermarkets in three flavors: sweet, mild, and hot. The main difference between these types is the number of spices. The other difference lies in the quantity of sweet basil in the batter mix.

In Australia, Italian sausages are known as fresh sausages. In the sausages, there is a variety of fennel mixtures available. And as they are seasoned with fennel, that is why they are called Italian sausage too.

Are Italian Sausages Bad For Your Health?

Are Italian Sausages Bad For Your Health

Italian sausages can be very good for your health. As it has a lot of protein, you can keep it in your daily diet. Even when you go to a doctor for suggestions, they often suggest you make sausages as nutrition advice.

However, too much consumption of Italian sausages can be harmful to you. Italian sausage is primarily made from pork. As a result of the meat’s fat content, the sausages are also high in fat. Also, if you eat half-cooked pork meat, you might get severe diseases.

For example, raw, undercooked, or worm-infested pork products cause trichomoniasis, a food-borne illness. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, headaches, and abdominal pain. Also, an 83-gram sausage contains almost 23 grams of fat as for fat. High cholesterol levels are caused by this type of fat, leading to a higher risk of heart disease like heart attacks.

Italian sausage contains 47 milligrams of cholesterol per 83-gram link. The recommended daily intake is 300 milligrams for average healthy adults and 200 milligrams for people with existing heart disease. Look for a low-fat version of Italian sausage to keep the saturated fat and cholesterol levels down.

However, does Italian pork sausage have nitrates? Let’s find out.

What Are Nitrates?

What Are Nitrates

The soil, air, and water contain natural chemicals known as nitrates. In addition to stopping bacteria growth, nitrates can also enhance food flavors and colors. Bacon, ham, sausages, and other processed meats often contain nitrates. They impart a salty flavor to the meat and make the meat products appear more attractive by giving them a red or pink hue.

Nitrates are a much-needed ingredient for keeping processed meat fresh for a long time. There are sausages and processed meats that do not contain nitrate, but curing salt would be necessary if you want to cure dry-cured sausages, which contain sodium nitrite.

In the food industry, nitrates are added as a preservative to extend the shelf life of processed meats because Nitrates help make products in bulk appealing, juicy, and delicious. On top of that, it saves money. So, if you are related to the food business, then nitrates are an ingredient that you would need to run your business.

Does Italian Sausage Have Nitrates?

does italian sausage have nitrates

Now let’s come to the main focus of our topic – are there nitrates in sausage? Since you use fresh meat and natural salt instead of curing salt to make your fresh sausages like Italian sausages, there are no nitrates in them. But nitrates are needed to preserve meat and other kinds of raw food. So, nitrates are added to the sausage in one form or another.

As mentioned before, Italian sausages can come in two different forms: cured and uncured. In uncured Italian sausages, nitrates are not directly added. But cured meat might be uncured sometimes.

Do you know what sausage does not have nitrates? As mentioned above, the fresh sausage.

There are no nitrates added during the manufacture of Italian sausage because it’s a fresh sausage. Despite this, nitrates are sometimes found in vegetables, and sausage seasoning is no exception as fennels are used in fresh sausages.

Is Nitrates Bad For Your Health? 

Is Nitrates Bad For Your Health 

Nitrogen atoms are combined with three oxygen atoms. Oxygen is generally harmless to your body. However, nitrites can cause problems when transformed into nitrates by bacteria in your body or enzymes in your organs.

However, nitrites can pose a health hazard. As a result of the reaction, nitric oxide is produced, which is beneficial to our organs, or nitrosamines are produced, which have harmful effects. A high temperature can produce nitrosamines in meat. The reason many people steer clear of them is that they are carcinogenic.

Nitrate consumption can be harmful to infants, especially. A high nitrate intake can affect blood oxygenation and cause blue baby syndrome if kids intake too much food, consisting of nitrates.

How To Prepare Italian Sausage? 

How To Prepare Italian Sausage 

The Italian sausage recipe is straightforward. It is primarily used in all hotels and restaurants. Italian sausage products are naturally cured or uncured sausages that contain more than 85% meat, as defined by the USDA. In order to preserve meat, salt, sugar, and nitrates are usually added.

There are many ways to prepare Italian sausage. You can sauté or grill the Italian sausage like bratwurst and serve it on a roll with onions and peppers, or you can serve it sliced over pizza. In addition to Italian sausage, you can serve tomato sauce with sliced and sautéed sausage or sausage that has been entirely taken out of its collagen casing.

In processed meat, there are only a few nitrates and nitrites allowed due to potential health concerns. You should buy a curing mix if you plan to use these preservatives to cure your meat. Such blends will contain the necessary amount of additives that will not threaten your health.

Whatever the recipe you use, we recommend you to try Johnsonville Mild Italian Ground Sausage, as it is excellent for Italian-inspired dishes and gives you 10g of protein per serving.

Are There Any Benefits Of Fresh Sausages?

Are There Any Benefits Of Fresh Sausages

We have talked about how sausages might harm you all over the article, but now let us talk about the benefits of fresh Italian sausages because there are many. For example-

  1. Excellent Source Of Protein

As you know, Italian pork sausages are mostly made of pork meat; there is a high protein in the meat. Having enough protein is essential for staying healthy and working correctly. Also, it helps to gain or reduce weight. 

You can try Original Breakfast Sausage by Fresh Brand as it has high protein.

  1. Healthy Diet

The energy content of meat is very high. As a result, eating a reasonable amount of meat will provide you with the proper protein you need to stay going all day.

To get most of the dietary elements keeping the sugar level low, we recommend using Hatch Green Chile Gluten-Free Smoked Sausage, which has less than 1gm of sugar.

  1. Contain Important Minerals And Vitamins

You can find a variety of vitamins and minerals in sausage meat. B12, zinc, selenium, iron, phosphorus, etc., are among them. Iron regulates hemoglobin and myoglobin production, while phosphorus helps with bone development. Italian sausage contains both of these nutrients.

If you are a vegan but still want to intake essential minerals and vitamins, try No GMOs, no soy added, or gluten. In this case, check out Plant-Based Italian Sausages from Fresh Brand.

  1. Prevent Hangovers

Even after partying the whole night and waking up with hangovers, it goes away after a healthy breakfast, especially if it has sausages. Because of the phosphorus present in the sausages, you feel better. In addition, it makes your kidneys function better too.

  1. Recovers The Body After Illness

Pork is high in selenium, and selenium is a very healthy nutrient. It boosts your immune system and helps with thyroid health. It can also help lower your risk of heart disease, which helps with thyroid health. So, when you are sick, you can have Italian sausages that will make you recover soon and help you with the curing process.

You can try Fresh Brand – Hot Italian Sausage Links to get these benefits.

Final Words

Does Italian sausage have nitrates? The taste of sausages is excellent, but various substances are often used to preserve them. Nitrates can be added too, adding benefits and risks to Italian sausage. Therefore, it is essential to consume it at a moderate level.

If you want to maintain good health, you should consume Italian sausage in moderation and eat a well-balanced diet. Also, make sure to check the nutrition facts panel before consuming sausages.

That is why you need to know what you are eating and the side effects of consuming that ingredient before actually having it with your favorite food. Surely you do not want your favorite food to cause your health issues.

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