Background: The effects of spicing on the physicochemical and microbial characteristics and drying behaviour of kaddid, a Tunisian dry-cured meat, were studied. In addition, the quality characteristics of traditional sun-dried kaddid and processed convective-dried kaddid were compared.
Results: Spicing had no significant effect on the pH and water activity of brined beef meat at 21% (w/w), but it reduced the product water and salt contents. Effects of spicing on brined meat microbial flora were the appearance of sulfito-reducer bacteria, an increase in total mesophilic aerobic flora (+15%) and staphylococci (+26%) and a decrease in faecal coliforms (-23%). The salted beef meat sorption behaviour was affected by spicing. Besides, spicing increased the kaddid drying rate, allowing a significant decrease in the drying process time (-33%). Traditional and processed kaddid presented comparable microbial characteristics. Both drying methods led to a reduction in the number of total mesophilic aerobic flora in unspiced and spiced kaddid and of faecal coliforms in spiced kaddid.
Conclusion: The study showed that spicing, as a step in kaddid meat processing to enhance the final product flavour, caused changes in the salted meat physicochemical and microbial characteristics and accelerated the drying rate. Convective drying at 30 °C is recommended to produce kaddid having the same characteristics as the traditional product.
Keywords: drying kinetics; kaddid meat; quality; sorption isotherm; spicing; traditional.
© 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.