A Cured Meat Guide for Everyone

Meat Preserving And Curing Guide

The meat was originally processed to preserve it, but since the different procedures result in many changes in texture and flavor, it is also a way to add variety to the diet. Processing also makes it possible to mix the least desirable parts of the carcass with lean meat and is also a means of prolonging the meat supply by including other foodstuffs such as cereals in the product. extremely perishable product and quickly becomes unfit for consumption. may be hazardous to health due to microbial growth, chemical change and degradation by endogenous enzymes. These processes can be reduced by decreasing the temperature sufficiently to slow or inhibit the growth of microorganisms, by heating to destroy organisms and enzymes (cooking, canning) or by removal of water by drying or osmotic control (by binding water with salt or other substances so that it is no longer available for organizations). It is also possible to use chemicals to curb growth and, very recently, ionizing radiation (the latter possibility is not allowed in some countries, however). Traditional methods used for thousands of years involve drying by wind and sun, salting and smoking. Canning dates back to the beginning of the 19th century and preserves food for many years because it is sterilized and protected from further contamination. Continue reading...

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Molds Used for Fermentation of Indigenous Fermented Foods and Beverages

After fermentation for 3 days, the material is placed in brine (2225 w v NaCl) for 6-8 months. During this phase, halophilic LAB and yeasts (Zygo-saccharomyces rouxii) occur either spontaneously or are added as starter cultures. Finally, the soy sauce is harvested by pressing and is then pasteurized. Tempeh originates from Java and Indonesia and is a solid-stage mold fermentation of soaked and cooked soybeans or other leguminous seeds or cereals. After boiling and cooling, the beans are inoculated with Rhizopus oligosporus and Rhizopus oryzae and packed. After fermentation for 24-48 hr the beans are tightened together due to mycelial growth. Fresh tempeh can be eaten after cooking or frying (146). Other examples of indigenous mold-fermented foods are sufu or furu, a Chinese soybean pasta produced by Actinomucor spp., Mucor spp., or Rhizopus spp. (149), and Japanese miso and shoyu produced by Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus sojae (150). Xerophilic molds such...

Packaging Materials

The packaging of fermented and dry-cured meats is a well-implanted preservation technology, as for most foodstuffs. However, the package does often play an important role in the meat processing, especially in traditional fermented meats. For some products, packaging materials are used to produce the food, as is the case for salami, pepperoni and

The Haccp System In Food Hygiene

Haccp For Cured Meat

Today, to achieve food safety, it is recognized that there is a need to apply measures of increased specificity (Figure 3-1). At a more general level, the CAC outlines the general principles of food hygiene. These principles lay the foundation for food hygiene. Second, more product-specific hygienic measures may be applied to focus better on issues that are relevant to specific commodities. These measures, also prescribed by the CAC, are described in specific codes of manufacturing or hygienic practices. The CAC has developed codes for a number of products, such as smoked or salted fish, cured ham, and so forth. Finally, application of the HACCP system can further enhance food safety by providing a mechanism for analyzing the hazards for each food or process, developing a tailor-made plan for ensuring food safety with emphasis on CCPs, and ensuring that the critical limits at these points are met. With each layer of

Scott Erickson Kbi Beverage Illinois

Intermediate-moisture meat and dehydrated meat. In YH Hui, WK Nip, RW Rogers, OA Young, (eds.) Meat Science and Applications. New York Marcel Dekker, Inc. 2001. Pp. 403-442. RG Cassens. Nitrite-cured meat a food safety issue in perspective. Food & Nutrition Press. Trumbull, Connecticut. 1990. WE Townsend, DG Olsen. Cured meat and meat products processing. In The Science of Meat and Meat Products, JF Price, BS Scheweigert (ed.) Food & Nutrition Press. Westport, Connecticut. 1987.

The role of components of the curing mixture

The key component is sodium nitrite, which promotes the typical colour of preserved meats through the formation of nitric oxide compounds by reaction with the haem of myoglobin (Fig. 13.1). Furthermore, it contributes to flavour as well as inhibiting the development of pathogens such as Clostridium botulinum. The downside is the production of the potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines and so there are legal limits on how much may be used (e.g. 120 ppm for US bacon). Meat typically has a pH of between 5.5 and 6 after rigor mortis is complete. At this pH, nitrite is converted to N2O, which also features in curing. Nitrate may replace nitrite, in which case it is converted to nitrite through the action of bacteria.

Packaging Systems

After the slicing process, the product is no longer protected by the casing (dry fermented sausages) or by the food manufacturing process (dry-cured ham). The exposure surface of the product to the environment is largely increased and subsequently, rehydration, dehydration, and oxidation significantly decrease shelf life. Plastic packaging becomes essential to delay these processes. In general, the sliced product will exchange water with the environment at a faster rate, resulting in detrimental changes. Similarly, the unfavorable effect of oxygen will be enhanced. Therefore, the requirements for packaging materials and packaging technologies are high water vapor barrier, high barrier to oxygen, and reduced headspace, or headspace composition with low oxygen levels. Among the available packaging technologies, vacuum packaging and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) are traditionally used for the preservation of sliced fermented and cured meat products. Present and future trends...

Fermentation And Food Safety Fermentation

In tropical developing regions, fermentation is one of the main options for processing foods. In the absence of facilities for home refrigeration, freezing, or home canning, it serves as an affordable and manageable technique for food preservation. Fermentation can also increase the safety of foods by removing their natural toxic components, or by preventing the growth of disease-causing microbes. It imparts attractive flavor and nutritive value to many products. Fermentation is an attractive technique because it is low cost and low technology and it can be easily carried out at the household level, often in combination with simple methods such as salting, sun drying, or heating (e.g., boiling, steaming, frying).

Minced Meat Products

Products consisting of fractions of lean meat and fat submitted to fermentation processes, drying, and ripening, which will be referred to hereafter by their generic name of salami, are present in many regions of the world they represent one of the most ancient forms of meat preservation. Characteristics common to all these products are the presence of salt and flavorings and sometimes of other ingredients (sugars) and of additives (nitrates, etc.), and their filling in a casing which is permeable to water vapor, traditionally obtained from animal gut (pig, sheep, horse, cow, etc.).

Lactococcus Lactis

Lactococcus Lactis

Fermentation is a process in which microorganisms, in the absence of oxygen, generate energy by oxidizing carbohydrates and related compounds. It has been used since ancient times as an important method for preserving food. Vegetables, fruits, cereals, milk, and other raw materials have been treated in special ways in order to promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms while inhibiting the growth of deteriorating and pathogenic microorganisms. Fermentation will preserve the food, and it will also enhance the taste, aroma, texture, and nutritional value of the product. The preservation effect is the result of synthesis of lactic acid and heterofermentation also, acetic acids and, some times, antimicrobial substances. Besides lowering the pH level, organic acids are also toxic for many microorganisms. It is also important that the fermentable carbohydrates are completely utilized by the fermenting microorganisms and thereby made unavailable for the undesirable microorganisms. In...


It is entirely possible to manufacture a fermented sausage with just a handful of ingredients. In fact, only five ingredients are essential meat, sugar, salt, culture, and a curing agent. As discussed above, fermented meats can indeed be made without adding a culture, but most large-scale manufacturers would not dream of making product without a culture. Likewise, fermented sausages also can be manufactured in the absence of the curing agent. However, these agents, either in the form of nitrite or nitrate, perform such important microbiological and organoleptic functions that they are nearly universally used. That being said, there is a small (but growing) market among organic foods proponents for reduced or even nitrite-free meat products. Even if the organoleptic properties provided by nitrite could be provided by other agents (a big if), removing nitrite from cured meat products would expose these products to a potentially serious food safety threat. Still, provided that other...

Vacuum Packaging

Modified atmosphere packaging is applied to many food products, red and white meats, fish, fresh produce, bakery products, and so on. The gas mixture composition varies with the product. For fermented and cured meat products, it is critical to reduce the presence of oxygen. Most solutions are based on the replacement of atmospheric air by carbon dioxide (20-30 carbon dioxide and 80-70 nitrogen). These atmospheres reduce fat The type of container used in MAP ranges from flexible pouches to semirigid or rigid trays. Flexible pouches are the simplest low-cost packaging technology and can be used in fast flow-pack machine with gas replacement by the flushing procedure. However, adequate information must be provided to the consumer. In many countries, consumers are used to buying fermented and cured meats in vacuum packaging. The presence of MAP pouches on shelves is interpreted by consumers as pouches that have lost the vacuum and thus are rejected. Also, the final presentation of the...


The antimicrobial properties of herbs and spices have been recognized and used for food preservation and medical treatments since ancient times (47,48). Scientific reporting on natural antimicrobial agents also dates back more than a century Chamberlain reported in 1887 the action of essential oil vapors on anthrax spores, as cited by Maruzzella and Sicurella (49). A renewed interest in 'natural preservation' seems to be stimulated by present food safety concerns, growing problems with microbial resistance, and a rise in production of minimal processed food joined with 'green'-image policies of food industries.


The generated mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids are susceptible to further oxidative reactions, giving rise to volatile compounds. The beginning of lipid oxidation is correlated to an adequate flavor development (58). In contrast, an excess of oxidation may lead to off-flavors. In fact, the generation of the characteristic aroma of dry-cured meat products correlates with the beginning of lipid oxidation. Free radical formation is catalyzed by muscle oxidative enzymes, like peroxidases and cyclooxygenases, external light, heating,

Active Packaging

For products sensitive to oxygen, such as fermented and cured meat products, the use of materials with oxygen-scavenging characteristics results in an extended shelf life. The scavengers decrease the oxygen initially available in the headspace and retain oxygen passing through the package walls due to permeation processes. There are two procedures for the manufacture of a package with scavenging properties. Traditionally, the scavenger was introduced in the package by means of a small pouch manufactured with an unbreakable material (such as Tyvek). However, this procedure is being questioned because this pouch, containing substances that may be toxic, is in direct contact with the food product. Currently, materials are being developed in which scavengers are introduced within the walls of the package, providing similar scavenging properties while being unnoticed by the consumer. The scavenger may be active from the moment it is manufactured but it can also be prepared in such a way as...

Microbial Activity

As already noted, the production of fermented foods shares many unit operations with other types of food processing, all of which can contribute to product safety. The unique feature of food fermentations, however, is the central role that microbial activity plays in the overall process, contributing a number of desirable properties such as improved product shelf life, increased safety, and improved flavor or texture. In developed countries today, the availability of modern food preservation techniques, such as an efficient cold chain, have diminished the significance of fermentation as a food preservation technology, although it remains of major importance in developing countries.


The catabolism of amino acids could involve the Strecker reaction (117,118) as well as bacterial catabolism. The production of volatile compounds arising from amino acids in sausages is modulated by the inoculated flora and, in particular, by staphylococci (110,114). In fact, in sausages inoculated with Staphylococcus carnosus, the desorption of 3-methyl butanol, 3-methyl butanal, and 3-methyl butanoic acid is larger than in those inoculated with Staphylococcus warneri and Staphylococcus saprophyticus. The 3-methyl butanal plays an important role in the cured meat aroma of sausages inoculated with S. xylosus (111). Hinrichsen et al. (119) associate the detection of 3-methyl butanal with the presence of S. warneri, S. saprophyticus, and S. xylosus in bacon. Under laboratory conditions, S. carnosus produces large amounts of 3-methyl butanoic acid but also 3-methyl butanal and 3-methyl butanol from leucine (120,121). Lactic acid bacteria have a restricted aromatic potential. Under...


The introduction of the resting phase for certain products prepared with limited quantities of salt and additives and of a certain dimension (coppa, dried meat from the Grisons, Bauernspeck etc.) reduces the incidence of microbiological contamination and improves some sensory properties (uniformity of color, greater proteolysis control, etc.).


A peculiar substance, obtained from tar or from crude pyroligneous acid by distillation. Creasote when pure, is a colorless liquid, of the consistency of oil of almonds, slightly greasy to the touch, and having a caustic, burning taste, and a penetrating, disagreeable odor, like that of smoked meat.


Proteolysis consists of the progressive degradation and breakdown of major meat proteins (sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar proteins) and the subsequent generation of peptides and free amino acids. The result is a weakening of the myofibrillar network and generation of taste compounds but its extent depends on many factors. One of the most important is the activity of endogenous muscle enzymes, which depends on the original crossbreeds (7,26) and the age of the pigs (9,10). Main muscle enzymes involved in these phenomena and their main properties are listed in Table 2. These enzymes show a great stability in long dry-curing processes like hams (15,27). Other important factors are related to the processing technology for instance, the temperature and time of ripening will determine the major or minor action of the enzymes, and the amount of added salt, which is a known inhibitor of cathepsins and other proteases, will also regulate the enzyme action (28-31). Excessive softness in ham has...

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