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Can J Vet Res. 1989 Jan;53(1):80-3.

Destruction of Trichinella spiralis spiralis during the preparation of the "dry cured" pork products proscuitto, proscuittini and Genoa salami.

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  • 1Agriculture Canada, Health of Animals Laboratory, Sackville, New Brunswick.


Genoa salami, proscuittini and proscuitto were prepared from pork carcasses that were heavily infected experimentally with Trichinella spiralis spiralis. Genoa salami was prepared with salt concentrations of 2.0%, 2.75% and 3.3%. Proscuitto was prepared by two procedures approved by Agriculture Canada. At various times postpreparation, samples of the various cured products were taken and examined by pepsin digestion and rat bioassay for the presence of viable trichinae. Water activity and pH of the cured meat were also determined. Curing of the various products was shown to destroy the Trichinella larvae. Pepsin digestion revealed that larvae progressively became loosely coiled, uncoiled and more subject to digestion (ghost larvae) during the curing process. Rat bioassay revealed the presence of viable trichinae in the proscuitto prepared using a sodium chloride salt mixture at day 34 but not at day 48 postpreparation. All other bioassays carried out on Genoa salami between 13 and 42 days postpreparation, on proscuittini between days 27 and 69 and on proscuitto between days 34 and 69 were negative for viable trichinae. Under the conditions of this study, preparing Genoa salami with salt concentrations as low as 2% did not appear to affect the destruction of Trichinella larvae.

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