Waitrose has introduced lower nitrite levels across its entire own-label bacon and gammon range.
The move, which Waitrose says is a supermarket-first, significantly lowers levels of the preservative “without compromising on taste or quality”.
Examples include nitrite being reduced by 60% in essential Waitrose bacon and gammon, and by 10% in its dry cure bacon and gammon in all other ranges.
The move comes in response to growing public awareness surrounding nitrites after a World Health Organisation (WHO) report recommended limiting these in the diet.
Nitrites are a preservative, responsible for producing bacon and gammon’s characteristic flavour, texture, taste and colour, but removing it completely would mean it’s simply defined as salty pork.
Waitrose has seen a 44% surge in bacon sales in the last three months, as data from Kantar shows that the number of cooked breakfasts served in UK households has almost doubled during lockdown, with an estimated 20 million eaten during the four weeks to 19 April.