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May 1994

Nitrate in Baby FoodsAdding to the Nitrate Mosaic

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148(5):490-494. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1994.02170050048009

Objective:  To identify commercial baby food varieties high in nitrate content using ion chromatography and compare the health risk associated with the consumption of high-nitrate water and high-nitrate commercial baby food.

Design:  Ion chromatographic determination of nitrate concentration in a variety of commercial baby foods.

Setting:  University Hygienic Laboratory, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Patients:  None.

Results:  Commercial baby foods with nitrate levels higher than 45 ppm include mixed vegetables, bananas, carrots, garden vegetables, spinach, green beans, and beets. The amount of nitrate in one 113-g (4 oz) jar of beets, for example, is equivalent to the amount of nitrate in nearly 5.5 L of water at 45 ppm nitrate.

Conclusions:  A controlled clinical trial is needed to clarify how consuming high-nitrate foods correlates with methemoglobin levels in infants younger than 6 months.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148:490-494)