Rapid method for dry curing boneless hams with little or no added nitrite
Tracy, Jay B.
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Fresh hams were skinned, boned, and fat removed to tolerance. Three curing mixtures were applied at the rate of 5% of the boneless weight. The curing mixtures consisted of (1) .1% sodium nitrite, 14.2% white sugar, and 85. 7% salt, (2) .2% sodium nitrite, 14.2% white sugar and 85.6% salt, (3) 10% v/v nitric oxide gas in nitrogen, 14.2% white sugar and 85.8% salt. The entire amount of the curing mixture was applied immediately prior to the tumbling treatment. Hams were tumbled for 180 minutes (3 hours) continuously at 22 R.P.M. at 2l.1°C. The hams were held 12 hours at 4.4°C for salt equalization, smoked for four hours and cooked to an internal temperature of 71.1°C for 15 minutes and then aged for 14 days at 60% humidity and 15.5 to 21.1°C. Organoleptic evaluations were made, and slices were analyzed for salt, moisture, and residual nitrite. Panel scores were similar for all treatments, all were acceptable except for control which could not be evaluated. Percent salt and moisture were similar for the three treatments but the control (non-tumbled) had the lowest percent salt. Variations occurred in nitrite levels, the lowest level detected was in the control (non-tumbled) hams and the highest level detected was in the hams treated with the nitric oxide. Residual nitrite levels for the hams treated with 0.1% sodium nitrite and 0.2% sodium nitrite showed no statistical differences.
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