Iiitechnology A Raw Material

High-quality product can be manufactured only from high-quality ingredients—that is, from hygienically processed raw material with good technological and sensoric attributes produced under good manufacturing practices. Structure and texture, as well as sensory value, are influenced (2) by the following:

Type of fat (saturated-to-unsaturated fatty acid ratio) Type of fat tissue (marbling, back fat) Meat-to-fat ratio in sausage batter Particle size

Chopping, grinding, stuffing temperature

Type and concentration of seasonings

Casing diameter

Pattern of pH changes

Salt concentration

Microflora (starters or spontaneous)

Final water activity

As for the technological quality of meat, the ''drier'' muscle of sows—with higher intramuscular fat content—is more suitable than the lean muscle of young animals if a low-water-

activity dry salami is the aim, achieved through a long ripening. Meat with higher fat and lower moisture content allows for better control of drying; also, less shrinking of sausage diameter occurs, which gives a more attractive product.

Presence of pale, soft, exudative (PSE) and dark, firm, dry (DFD) meat is less of a problem because of the low incidence of such types, their presence is compensated for by comminution and mixing with normal meat. Formation of texture greatly depends on pH value: when lactic acid is produced by starter cultures, gelifying a protein solution containing meat and fat particles, a firm texture and sliceability is attained more rapidly than when the sausage pH is far from the isoelectric point of muscle. With a higher sausage pH (low acidity), a significant rise in salt concentration (through drying) is the only factor responsible for gelifying the protein solution and for sliceability, which is the result of the gel structure of the protein matrix.

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