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Celery Powder

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 01:23
by story28
Hey there. Who has used celery powder or cherry powder as a replacement for Instacure? What have your experiences been?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 02:09
by CrankyBuzzard
I've never used either, and I probably won't.

The main reason I won't is the fact that Instacure, pink salt, etc., are marketed with a KNOWN quantity of nitrite per gram. Whereas the celery powder and other powders out there from vegetables/fruits are NOT guaranteed to have a specific amount.

If you don't know exactly how much cure you're using in a recipe you are leaving yourself open for problems...

If any marketer of the veggie powders guarantees the specific percentage of nitrite, they are doing one of 2 things IMO, either adding nitrites to the powder, or analyzing each batch of powder.

If they are adding, you may as well get the pink stuff. If they are analyzing each batch, you may as well get the pink stuff since they are going to pass the cost of analysis on to the customer.

Now, all of this is my opinion, but I think one or 4 on here will agree, go with a known amount of cure when making sausage or any other cured product that calls for nitrite or nitrate...


Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 02:22
by story28
Polyface Farm asked me to make a few products for them and they only want the natural stuff. I haven't used it before, but I want to know about celery/cherry extract's ability to produce consistent results and issues with varying potency. Horror and success stories are both welcome. I am also curious in hearing of the flavor these products impart; for better or worse.

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 02:26
by Devo
You might want to read through this short page on the subject. ... ing-agents

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 02:30
by story28
I know that celery/cherry powders can only be used for fully cooked products, and the varying potency.

I just want to hear the outcome(s) of those who have processed meats using these products.

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 02:57
by ssorllih
No help from this quarter. I wouldn't trust either.. Sometimes you simply must refuse a job when it runs contrary to your knowledge and experience. If anything goes haywire they will point to you as the expert. Anyway isn't sodium nitrite a natural compound?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 03:18
by story28
You have great insight, Ross. I am trying to gather as much knowledge as I can, and then present that to Polyface so that can make an informed decision. I am concerned that they have been hooked in with the whole "natural" thing.

In any case, it is important for me to learn both sides of the coin. I bought a little of celery powder to work with, but I'm hoping to hear from others who have used it too. I am going to put a portion toward jerky, and another portion toward a smoked sausage.

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 07:40
by Chuckwagon
My friends, celery powder and other natural sources of nitrite, are NOT approved by the U.S.D.A. for use as curing agents? These substances are currently referred to as flavoring agents by the FSIS. Whether celery powder is in a pre-reduced form or bacterial nitrate-reducing culture, it, nor other natural sources of nitrite alone, are approved for use under 9 CFR 424.21(c) as curing agents.

Best Wishes,

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 20:22
by Cabonaia
I bought some celery powder too, not for myself but for a friend the next time we make sausage together. He and his wife are convinced that their daughter is allergic to nitrite unless it is "natural." While I don't buy into the "natural" claims, if it makes them comfortable, fine. But he has my opinion on the matter. I will report back on how it goes, but I don't plan on using it for at least a couple of months.

Actually, I want my charcuterie to turn out shimmery green! Just like Trader Joes' "uncured" pastrami. New motto: If it's GREEN it's gotta be good!

My favorite brand of linguica, Silva Sausage, now uses celery juice powder. It's getting more common out here in CA.


Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 21:25
by ssorllih

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 22:20
by Butterbean
I think its interesting that the bacon sold in the stores as nitrate free bacon actually contains more nitrate than that which is sold as containing nitrates. But since the nitrate was added through a natural seasoning this is not considered nitrate free.

This makes perfect sense to me cause I deal with the government quite often. Too often.

If they want natural I can direct them to a pit the indians dug into the ground that contains salt peter. Now that is about as natural as you can get I think and if the american indians used it then you know it had to be good.

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 03:36
by el Ducko
In order to use it, I'd first want to know what the nitrite concentration is, so I can work up a recipe. (I don't wanna turn green and die!)

Any idea what the concentration is? I'll start searching, but maybe somebody out there in sausage-land can save us all some trouble. Meanwhile, here's a good rant, er, blog from Michael Ruhlman. I don't normally care for Mister Ruhlman's opinions, but he's right on the mark, here.

Here's a short blurb containing what the USDA FSIS says: ... ing-agents

Interestingly, the Canadians have already issued regulations on the use of celery-sourced nitrite. See: ... exce.shtml titled "Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Annex C: Use of Phosphate Salts and Nitrites in the Preparation of Meat Products." Here's the heart of the document:
Non-converted celery juice powder (or other vegetable juice powders approved for this purpose) may be used as a source of nitrates in slow curing processes provided the product meets the nitrate/nitrite limits described under section 1.0.

Non converted celery juice powder (or other vegetable juice powders approved for this purpose) containing nitrates, together with an approved starter culture (MOP Chapter 4, Annex G), may also be used as an alternate method of curing meat products. Current regulations permit this method for unstandardized emulsified red meat products and standardized fermented emulsified red meat products, such as sausages. This method cannot be used to produce poultry products, or other cured meat products by pumping or injection procedures (e.g., brine injected ham). The operator must determine the amount of celery juice powder/vegetable juice to be included in the formulation to achieve the minimum levels of nitrate (100 ppm, Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990) needed to cure the product without exceeding the maximum allowable limit (200 ppm, Food and Drug Regulations).
Note that they're talking about nitrAtes, and using bacterial to convert to nitrItes.

I wonder how much nitrite is in a Bloody Mary? (NOW we're getting somewhere.)

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 04:04
by HamnCheese
Corned beef with celery powder: ... eef-roast/

And apparently these guys do a celery cured salami:

Milan Salami Company
1155 67Th St
Oakland, CA - Alameda County
(510) 654-7055

Maybe they are willing to share their expertise?


Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 04:23
by Butterbean
From what I have read (wish I saved the link) the celery stuff isn't considered nitrates since it is not considered a curing salt in the US. I would think that this is a Catch 22 in Canada since the reason you use refined curing salts is for the purpose of controlling the amount of nitrates but with "natural ingredients" such as this or sea salt it may vary. The greenies seem to think as long as its "natural" and "not refined by man" it is somehow safer in spite of the laws of chemistry. So if you use the celery stuff you can dump all you want in the meat and it will be considered "nitrate free". If you grow a leg out your ear you probably added too much.