The implementation of fast and nondestructive methods in meat products and colds cuts have become increasingly important to evaluate their quality in relation to different factors such as origin, type of processing, freshness, adulteration, and authenticity. In this study, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), colorimetric, and image-analysis methods were implemented to characterize and classify ham cold cuts in terms of meat type, processing, and shelf life during refrigerated storage. Two types of commercial hams (made from pork and turkey) and three types of processing (boiled, smoked, and roasted) were selected. By using the most appropriate color parameters, a*, h, and C*, as well as the textural features’ angular second moment, long-running emphasis, and standard deviation of image intensity from the hams’ images, high-classification values for the different ham samples were achieved. The FT-IR analysis revealed the presence of absorbance bands of proteins, triglycerides, fatty acids, and carbohydrates with different intensities according to meat type and processing. Refrigeration storage caused significant alterations of color parameters and a partial degradation of triglycerides and proteins. Moreover, the image-analysis findings indicated that storage period caused significant degradation of ham images relating to local linearity, and structural and textural continuum.
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