Why Bacon Sometimes Looks Green

Why Bacon Sometimes Looks Green

When you’re not dealing with vegetables, green isn’t the most appetising colour — especially when it’s on your raw bacon. But fear not fellow bacon lover, that weird discolouring is not anything to be worried about.

According George Richter-Addo and his group of researchers at the University of Oklahoma, that greenish hue is perfectly natural. It’s caused by nitrite, a chemical that’s been used to preserve and cure meats like bacon for centuries. We even produce it in our own bodies. Nitrite’s reaction with the myoglobin in the bacon causes “nitrite burn”, giving the meaty part of your bacon a green pigment. So don’t toss out that bacon just because it looks a little bit green. That said, bacon that has turned a greyish colour, smells rancid or has green spots that resemble mould should not be eaten.

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Mystery of green bacon solved [Chemistry World via Mental Floss]