Meaning of sodium nitrite

so'dium ni'trite

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a yellowish or white crystalline compound, NaNO, soluble in water, slightly soluble in alcohol and ether: used in the manufacture of dyes and as a color fixative.
  2. this compound added to food as a preservative and for flavor and color, esp. in pork, fish, and beef products: implicated in the formation of suspected carcinogens. Also called
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.