E249 - Potassium nitrite

Functions: Preservative

Potassium nitrite -distinct from potassium nitrate- is the inorganic compound with the chemical formula KNO2. It is an ionic salt of potassium ions K+ and nitrite ions NO2−, which forms a white or slightly yellow, hygroscopic crystalline powder that is soluble in water.It is a strong oxidizer and may accelerate the combustion of other materials. Like other nitrite salts such as sodium nitrite, potassium nitrite is toxic if swallowed, and laboratory tests suggest that it may be mutagenic or teratogenic. Gloves and safety glasses are usually used when handling potassium nitrite. - Wikipedia

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