Curing was a widely used method of preserving meat before the days of refrigeration. Both Salt and Sugar (as well as combinations of both) have been used to cure meat by means of the process of osmosis. The higher concentration of salt in external water (Brine), actually causes moisture to evacuate the tissue. In addition to drawing the water from the food itself, salt curing also dehydrates and kills the bacterial organisms in food that are the primary agents of spoil. Although normal table salt can be used with some success, the most common types used are partly or wholly either sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate.