Food has a fundamental impact on human health and therefore on the length of human life. Consumer awareness has significantly increased owing to the growing interest of scientists in the methods to ensure health safety of the produced food. Consumers have begun to look for safe food, which production process would be monitored from the beginning to the end, i.e. for the food that would not adversely affect human health or the natural environment. Nitrites are much more toxic to human health than nitrates. Those compounds are N-nitro compounds precursors characterised by carcinogenic, mutagenic and embryotoxic features. Organic farming is an agricultural production system to exclude the use of chemical plant protection products and to eliminate the impact of environmental pollution. Therefore, the main goal of organic farms is to produce foods of a high biological value. The objective of the research study was to compare changes in the content of nitrates and nitrites in white sauerkraut produced from conventional and organic cultivation, kept in cold storage during 3 consecutive months in non- standard packets made of low-density polyethylene and additionally equipped with special valves to enable the discharge of gases generated during fermentation. Immediately after purchase a significantly higher (ca. 58 %) content of nitrites was found in the conventional sauerkraut compared to the organic sauerkraut. Both in the conventional and the organic sauerkraut a statistically significant increase was reported in the content of nitrates compared to the sauerkraut immediately after purchase. After a 3-month period of cold storage no nitrites were detected in the sauerkrauts analysed.
white sauerkraut, chemical contamination, nitrates, nitrites, refrigerated storage