The Effect of Salting Time and Sex on Chemical and Textural Properties of Dry Cured Ham

Meat Sci. 2020 Mar;161:107990. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2019.107990. Epub 2019 Oct 31.


Effect of reduced salting and pig sex on the quality of Slovenian dry-cured ham Kraški pršut was studied. A total of 48 hams from 24 crossbred pigs (12 gilts, 12 castrates) were submitted to two different salting regimes; standard salting for 18 days (HS hams, n = 24) and shortened salting (LS hams, n = 24) for 10 days. Reduced salting time effectively reduced salt content but resulted also in higher extent of proteolysis of LS hams which was associated with differences in texture and colour of biceps femoris muscle. Lower fat oxidative stability was observed in HS hams. With regard to sex effect, the hams originating from gilts were more proteolysed which was associated with differences in texture and colour. Lipid oxidation was similar in gilts and castrates.

Keywords: Dry-cured ham; Proteolysis; Reduced salt; Sex; Texture.