HalfPint is a trusted home cook.
pink salt, aka Himalayan pink salt, is just salt (NaCl)
sodium nitrate (NaNO3) is the nitrate in Prague's Powder #2
Prague's Powder #1 is table salt (NaCl) and sodium nitrite (NaNO2)
The Prague's Powders are tinted pink to differentiate them from table salt because large quantities of either can kill you.
Sorry, I should clarify that large quantities of nitrates and nitrites can be toxic.
Insta Cure #1 AKA Prague Powder # 1 AKA "pink salt" contains table salt, sodium nitrite and dye.
Insta Cure #2 AKA Prague Powder #2 AKA "pink salt" contains table salt, sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate and dye.
In the meat industry, pink salt is the common term for Prague powder. During the curing process Nitrate (NO3) breaks down to Nitrite NO2) which breaks down to Nitric Oxide (NO) It is the Nitric Oxide that reacts with the hemoglobin and iron of the meat to give the cured colour and taste. BUT, there are natural curing methods used today that work just as well. Cultured Celery Juice, which uses the natural occurring nitrates in celery (as in almost all vegetables) and through fermentation converts the NO3 to NO2, thus creating a natural curing element.
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