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What’s the green sheen on bacon? © Getty Images

What’s the green sheen on bacon?

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Hmmm! Delicious shiny green bacon.

Asked by: Rob Baynes, Lutterworth


It is formed by a chemical reaction between the sodium nitrite that is used to cure the bacon, and myoglobin, which is found in muscle tissue. This reaction was identified in 2012 but we still don’t know whether the green chemical is harmful or not in the long term. The nitrites in processed meat are already linked to heart disease, though.


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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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