Characteristics and Applition :
Nitrosamines are chemical compounds of the chemical structure R1N(-R2)-N=O, some of which are carcinogenic.
Nitrosamines are produced from nitrites and secondary amines, which often occur in the form of proteins. Their formation can occur only under certain conditions, including strongly acidic conditions such as that of the human stomach. High temperatures, as in frying, can also enhance the formation of nitrosamines. These cooking styles may be responsible for thousands of cases of colon cancer per year across the world.They may be prepared by the Liebermann's reaction.
Under acidic conditions the nitrite forms nitrous acid (HNO2), which is protonated and splits into the nitrosonium cation N≡O+ and water: H2NO2+ = H2O + NO+. The nitrosonium cation then reacts with an amine to produce nitrosamine.
Nitrosamines are found in many foodstuffs, especially beer, fish, and fish byproducts, and also in meat and cheese products preserved with nitrite pickling salt. The U.S. government established limits on the amount of nitrites used in meat products in order to decrease cancer risk in the population. There are also rules about adding ascorbic acid or related compounds to meat, because they inhibit nitrosamine formation
Nitrosamines can be found in tobacco smoke and latex products. A test of party balloons and condoms indicated that many of them release small amounts of nitrosamines.However, nitrosamines from condoms are not expected to be of toxicological significance.
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