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Open AccessArticle

Quality of Dry-Cured Ham from Entire, Surgically and Immunocastrated Males: Case Study on Kraški Pršut

Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Hacquetova ul. 17, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences (WULS-SGGW), ul. Nowoursynowska 159c, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
Department of Behavioral Physiology of Livestock, Institute of Animal Science, University of Hohenheim, Garbenstraße 17, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(2), 239;
Received: 13 December 2019 / Revised: 30 January 2020 / Accepted: 2 February 2020 / Published: 3 February 2020
The initiative to stop the surgical castration of piglets calls for the assessment of alternative solutions. The issue is particularly sensitive for the processing of traditional products. This study demonstrated important differences between male sex categories and showed that dry-cured ham from entire males presented distinct sensory depreciation and also differed in many other aspects important in dry-cured ham production. Under the conditions of the present study, i.e., standard slaughter age and weight and delay between immunocastration and slaughter, dry-cured ham from surgical castrates showed the most distinct properties, while immunocastrated pigs were more similar in many aspects to entire males, however, their main advantage was in their sensory attributes, i.e., absence of boar taint.
Alternative solutions to the surgical castration of piglets need to be assessed because this is a particularly sensitive issue for the processing of traditional pork products. Currently, the available information about the advantages and drawbacks of castration for dry-cured products is limited; thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the quality of Slovenian dry-cured ham (Kraški pršut) from entire males (EM), immunocastrates (IC) and surgical castrates (SC). Hams (12 per sex group) were processed for one year and physical-chemical, rheological and sensory analysis of the dry-cured hams was performed. With regard to processing aptitude, the main difference was in the subcutaneous fat thickness, which influenced the level of dehydration and salt intake. This was further reflected in the physical-chemical traits and the texture, which were measured instrumentally or assessed by panelists. Regarding the aforementioned traits, EM and IC were generally similar and different from SC. On the contrary, sensory profiling of odor, taste and flavor demonstrated that EM had the lowest overall sensory quality, different from both IC and SC, and presented odors and flavors described as sweat, manure, sharp and persistent. We confirmed that dry-curing did not eliminate the perception of boar taint in the product from EM. The IC were similar in many aspects to EM except for the odor, taste and flavor of dry-cured hams, in which case they were more similar to SC.
Keywords: immunocastration; entire male; castration; pig; dry-cured ham immunocastration; entire male; castration; pig; dry-cured ham
MDPI and ACS Style

Čandek-Potokar, M.; Škrlep, M.; Kostyra, E.; Żakowska-Biemans, S.; Poklukar, K.; Batorek-Lukač, N.; Kress, K.; Weiler, U.; Stefanski, V. Quality of Dry-Cured Ham from Entire, Surgically and Immunocastrated Males: Case Study on Kraški Pršut. Animals 2020, 10, 239.

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