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The nitrate ion has a chemical formula of NO3-. It has nitrogen in its +5 oxidation state. Nitrates are oxidizing agents, especially when acidic. Dissolved in water, the NO3- is an oxidizing agent capable of oxidizing metals that the H+ can not. Nitrates are salts of nitric acid. A sample nitrate is potassium nitrate.
It is the conjugate base of nitric acid, consisting of one central nitrogen atom surrounded by three identically-bonded oxygen atoms in a trigonal planar arrangement. The nitrate ion carries a formal charge of -1. This results from a combination formal charge in which each of the three oxygens carries a −2⁄3 charge, whereas the nitrogen carries a +1 charge, all these adding up to formal charge of the polyatomic nitrate ion.
The nitrate ion. The net charge of the whole ion is 1−. This arrangement is commonly used as an example of resonance. Like the isoelectronic carbonate ion, the nitrate ion can be represented by resonance structures:
Nitrates are used primarily to preserve the red color of meat. Nitrates (NO3-) and nitrites (NO2-) are used primarily to cure meats. One function is to retain the red color that most people regard as a sign of meat that is fresh and healthful. Nitrates are used in the production of Gouda cheese to prevent gas formation.
There are high nitrate concentrations in some vegetables like chinese cabbage, endivie, corn salad, lettuce, fennel, kohlrabi, beetroot, radish, rocket and spinach, about (1000–4000 mg/kg fresh weight).
Nitrates are also used as an oxidizing agent in explosives, including improvised explosive devices.
- ↑ Brady, James E.; Holum, John R (1996). Chemistry: The Study of Matter and its Changes (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. p. 380. ISBN 0-471-10042-0.
- ↑ Newton, David E (2007). Food Chemistry. New York NY: Facts On File, Inc.. pp. 23. ISBN 978-0-8160-5277-6.
- ↑ deMan, John M (1999). Principles of Food Chemistry (3rd ed.). Gaithersburg, Maryland: Aspen Publishers, Inc. pp. 435. ISBN 0-8342-1234-X.
- ↑ Belitz, H. D; Grosch, W,; Schieberle, P John M (2009). Food Chemistry (4th ed.). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. pp. 454-493. ISBN 978-3-540-69933-0.