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Meat Sci. 2006 Apr;72(4):757-65. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2005.10.013. Epub 2005 Dec 5.

Accelerated processing of dry-cured ham. Part I. Viability of the use of brine thawing/salting operation.

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Departamento de Tecnología de Alimentos, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain.


In a previous study, the brine thawing/salting operation using frozen hams as raw material was proposed in order to obtain accelerated processing of dry-cured hams. The time needed to reach the same NaCl concentration on a dry weight basis and the same NaCl concentration in the ham liquid phase for the deeper areas at the end of the post-salting stage were determined. The aim of this work was to study the influence of the brine thawing/salting operation on the whole dry-cured ham manufacturing process, using the traditional thawing and salting methods as control. The obtained results indicate that although a strong reduction in the thawing, salting and post-salting stages is obtained by using brine thawing/salting, the time needed in the dry-curing and maturing phases increases compared to those traditionally processed, probably due to the absence of pile salting and thus the reduction in the thickness of the ham piece as a consequence of the ham pressing. From the composition and microbiological point of view, no significant differences were observed among the hams processed by the different treatments.

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