Abstract

We aim to develop an innovative dry cured ham manufacturing process, and to implement it at industrial scale.

Needs addressed

  • Product homogeneity.
  • Product quality.
  • Product losses.
  • Technological problems.

Objectives

Salt's dispersion ± 0,3% around the average content
Reduce excessive weight losses by at least 1%
To minimize textural defects in the final product

Abstract

Dry cured ham is the processed meat product with the highest market value in Europe. Despite the apparent simplicity of the manufacturing process, dry cured ham producers face a major problem related to the lack of repeatability of the final products, which is caused by the variable response of fresh hams to salting and drying processes. The poor control over the dry curing process leads to substantial economic losses due to excessive weight losses, and the reduction of the commercial value of the final product due to noncompliance with quality standards. In the frame of this project, and based on the knowhow acquired in a previous European Research Project (www.procured.eu), we aim to develop an innovative dry cured ham manufacturing process, and to implement it at industrial scale. The proposed process is based on a Predictive Control System, which will optimize the salting and drying conditions based on the characteristics of individual hams, as determined by novel inline meat inspection systems. This Project shall represent a benefit for Italian and Spanish ham producers, providing scientific bases and advanced manufacturing solutions to process management.