Many European-type sausages are manufactured using a fermentation process. These sausages have their own characteristic flavors due to the formulations and curing processes used. It is not the intent of this chapter to list the various formulations. Readers should consult the references in this chapter, the chapter on sausages in this handbook, and other references available elsewhere. Commercial inocula are available. Bacteria and some yeasts grow inside the sausage during the ripening period, producing the characteristic flavor.

Table 29 Basic Steps in Brine-Cured Ham Processing Preparation of pork for brine curing

Mixing of the proper ratio of ingredients (salt, sugar, and nitrite with inocula optional; five gallons of brine for 100 lb meat)

Soaking of the meat in the prepared brine, or stitch pumping of the brine into the meat (10% of the original weight of the meat) followed by soaking in the brine for 3-7 days vacuum tumbling or massaging (optional) Removal of the meat from the cover brine and washing

Placing green ham in tight-fitting stockinette and hanging in smokehouse to dry overnight

Smoking at about 60 or 80°C with 60% R.H. for 12-36 hr


Vacuum packaging and cool storage Source: Refs. 20 and 21.

Table 30 Basic Steps in Chinese Jinghua Ham Processing

Selection of pork hind leg, 5-7.5 kg Trimming

Salting, 7-8 kg salt per 10 kg ham

Stacking and overhauling at 0-10°C for 33-40 days

Washing with cold water and brush

Drying in the sun for 5-6 days

Fermentation (curing) for 2-3 months at 0-10°C with harmless green mold developing on surface Brushing off the mold and trimming Aging for 3-4 months, maximum 9 months; alternate aging process in temperature-programmable room with 60% for 1-2 months Grading

(Yield: about 55-60%) Packaging and distribution

Source: Refs. 19 and 27.

Molds can grow on the surface during storage if they are not properly packaged and stored in the refrigerator. Because these sausages are not sterilized, fermentation is an ongoing process, with the aged sausages carrying a stronger flavor. Table 31 lists the basic steps in the manufacture of dry fermented sausages (22-24,26).

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