What are Sodium Erythorbate and Ascorbic Acid used for?

Butcher and Hunter Equipment & Supplies, Products, Sausage, Sausage Making Class

Sodium Erythorbate, and Ascorbic Acid are known as “Cure Accelerators”.  When used they directly accelerate the nitrite (NO2-) conversion (actually, a reduction reaction itself) to NO.  This means sodium erythorbate speeds up converting nitrite to nitric oxide, so more nitric oxide will be available to react and create the cured meat color, in a shorter period of time. 

In Layman’s terms, these ingredients drastically speed up curing time.   

Curing is any of various food preservation and flavoring processes of foods such as meat, fish and vegetables, by the addition of salt, with the aim of drawing moisture out of the food by the process of osmosis.


Sodium Ascorbate (Ascorbic Acid)

Ascorbic Acid is the salt out of vitamin C. It is mainly used for color retention in fresh and cured products. Accelerates curing and stabilizes color. Click here to learn more about this product or to buy now.

Sodium Erythorbate

Sodium Erythorbate is the artificial form of vitamin C and is used for the same purpose as Sodium Ascorbate. It accelerates curing and stabilizes color. Click here to learn more about this product or to buy now.

How much should I use?

These 2 ingredients will work at only .5 g per Kg, so only a very small amount is needed for it to complete its job. It is recommended that a cure accelerator is used for smoked sausage, as it will allow you to make your sausage, and smoke it within the same day. 

What if I don’t use an accelerator?

If an accelerator is not used, you must allow time for a “Bloom” to happen, which may take up to 8 hours.  

Blooming refers to the colour change due to oxygenation of myoglobin that occurs when a meat surface is exposed to oxygen

Science Direct

A curing accelerator is necessary if curing a whole muscle such as a ham, bacon, or sliced jerky.  It will help distribute the cure through the whole muscle evenly and within the appropriate curing time.  

As always, we are here to help! Please call one of our locations and a friendly, knowledgeable staff member will be happy to assist you with your sausage-making needs.

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