Nitrites


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nitrites

 

salts of nitrous acid, HNO2. Nitrites are colorless, crystalline compounds that are thermally less stable than nitrates. The nature of decomposition depends on the cation. For example, 2Ba(NO2)2 = BaO + Ba(NO3)2 + NO2 + ½N2, whereas 2AgNO2 = AgNO3 + Ag + NO.

Almost all nitrites are highly soluble in water (an exception is AgNO2). Nitrites may have both oxidizing and reducing properties.

Nitrites are obtained by the action of a mixture of NO and NO2 on oxides and hydroxides, by the reduction of nitrates, and by exchange reactions. They are used mainly in the production of azo dyes. (The most important nitrites are described in separate articles—see, for example, SODIUM NITRITE.)

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Gajewska, "The content of nitrates and nitrites in fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs," Roczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny, vol.
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Thus, the study concludes that the protective effect of the Mediterranean diet, combining unsaturated fats and vegetables abundant in nitrite and nitrate, comes at least in part from the nitro fatty acids generated which inhibit soluble Epoxide Hydrolase to lower blood pressure.