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Foods 2016, 5(2), 33; doi:10.3390/foods5020033

Effects of Processing Temperature on Color Properties of Dry-Cured Hams Made without Nitrite

1
Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry, Viale F. Tanara 31A, 43121 Parma, Italy
2
Consortium for Parma Ham, Largo Calamandrei, 1A 43121 Parma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christopher J. Smith
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 29 March 2016 / Accepted: 27 April 2016 / Published: 29 April 2016
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Abstract

Dry cured hams were investigated for their ability to develop red color even at low temperature (3–4 °C) and in the absence of added nitrites; results were compared with those obtained from nitrite-free hams made at conventional warm maturing temperatures. Colorimetric parameters (L*, a*, b*, and hue) and concentration of the main pigments Zn protoporphyrin IX (ZnPP) and heme were measured at three stages of preparation (six, nine, and 12 months), showing that red color was successfully formed at low temperatures, though at a slower rate and less intensively than under warm conditions. Major differences in the pattern of color development were found with the two processing temperatures. While the typical features of an enzyme-dependent mechanism, with a progressive drop in enzyme activity paralleling the synthesis of Zn protoporphyrin IX, were observed at warm temperatures, the same did not occur in cold-made hams, where the enzyme activity was almost unchanged throughout the process. These results, along with data from a descriptive sensory analysis, are supportive of a non-enzymatic mechanism leading to ZnPP (hence the red color) under cold conditions, with an estimated three-month delay compared with nitrite-free hams manufactured in a warm maturing regimen. View Full-Text
Keywords: meat; color; food additives; processing meat; color; food additives; processing
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Parolari, G.; Aguzzoni, A.; Toscani, T. Effects of Processing Temperature on Color Properties of Dry-Cured Hams Made without Nitrite. Foods 2016, 5, 33.

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