Greenish tint to fat side of curing Pork Belly

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by boondoc, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. boondoc

    boondoc Newbie

    I am currently curing 24 lbs of pork belly for bacon.  I have it dived into 4 bags with dry cure.  3 of the 4 belly section are maple cure (maple syrup added with brown sugar) and 1 belly is just plain salt and cure with pepper.  The plain salt and cure belly is showing a light green tinge on the fat side.  I opened the ziplock bag to smell and it smells fine (no odor at all really).  The other bellies look fine, but with the color of the maple syrup and brown sugar it would be hard to tell.  This is my second attempt at making bacon and the first time was great.  I used the same methods.  I mixed the cure and salt together and rubbed both sides of each belly then added the other ingredients.  Any thoughts?  Is the green tinge normal?  I used 0.05oz of cure#1  per pound of belly
  2. boondoc

    boondoc Newbie

    Possible nitrite burn? I'll try to get pics tonight.
  3. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Pictures would be good.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mystery of the green bacon solved.

    You’ve heard of green eggs and ham, but have you ever wondered what gives your bacon that greenish sheen. Even more importantly, is it safe to eat?

    A team of scientists from the University of Oklahoma, US, have determined that what you are seeing is an unusual chemical reaction between myoglobin (an iron- and oxygen-binding protein found in muscle tissue) and nitrite.

    Nitrite, which is produced naturally in the body, has been used to preserve meat for centuries. It greatly delays the development of botulinal toxin (botulism), develops cured meat flavour and colour and slows down the development of bad odours during storage.

    According to researchers, a simple chemical process between nitrite and myoglobin, which inhibits the flow of oxygen in the blood and degrades the blood protein haemoglobin, causes the blood to turn from red to green. By identifying the degraded blood components, researchers are able to characterise the related green pigment seen in bacon and other meats.
  5. boondoc

    boondoc Newbie

    I read that article above, but is not the meat side. Only the fat side. Like I said I'll get pictures tonight and see if I can post them. I'm going to let it cure 10 days and see how it looks but I'm leaning towards tossing it as $15 worth of belly is not worth getting sick over.
  6. boondoc

    boondoc Newbie

    Here are the pictures.  The green tint is very slight.  It's hard to see in the pictures.

  7. boondoc

    boondoc Newbie

    No one had this happen?
  8. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry no help here. Never had it happen.
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've had it happen.... others on here have also.... Usually it appears as a sheen..... like oil on water and the green/blue colors seen from the reflection of light... I've seen it on store bought also....
  10. boondoc

    boondoc Newbie

    So consensus is I shouldn't worry about it?  I'll let it cure till the end and see what I end up with.  I'll do a fry test as long as it's not stinky and keep my Cipro and Flagyl nearby in case I infect myself.  LOL!
  11. You're fine Boon. This happened on my very first batch and after a bit of reading I was put at ease. Dave has you covered and he'd be the first to tell you to get rid of it if the procedure wasn't sound. Happy bacon making!
  12. boondoc

    boondoc Newbie

    Thanks guys! It's definitely not getting worse. I'm pretty confident it's just some nitrite burn. I can't wait to get all that bacon processed so I can try some. I have Canadian bacon soaking now. Should get in the smoker in a few hours. Belly Bacon has another week yet.
  13. j blackburn

    j blackburn Newbie

    I just had the same exact thing happen to me. First time making bacon. How did it turn our boon?
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Article explaining the tint.....

    9. What causes iridescent colors on
    Meat contains iron, fat, and other compounds.
    When light hits a slice of meat, it splits into colors
    like a rainbow. There are various pigments in meat
    compounds that can give it an iridescent or greenish
    cast when exposed to heat and processing. Wrapping
    the meat in airtight packages and storing it away
    from light will help prevent this situation. Iridescence
    does not represent decreased quality or safety of the meat.

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