Seasoning Blends & Meat Formulations - Reference
ENSURING GOOD QUALITY HAM PRODUCTS – SOME KEY GUIDELINES
Producing good quality ham has as much to do with process as it does with good quality material, and excellent formulations.
Here we outline a number of key guidelines to consider.
- Boning rooms, pickle cellars, stuffing areas and holding areas all must be refrigerated. High micro counts and low nitrite and
erythorbate levels are all indicative of processing temperatures that are too high, or hams that are in process too long.
- An over-pumped product will be salty, and an under-pumped product will be flat in flavour and will have a poor colour due to
insufficient nitrite and erythorbate.
- Injection equipment if not well maintained with clean and sharp needles may give a lower injected level than desired. It is
essential to check-weigh pieces of ham before and after pumping to ensure the proper pick-up.
- If hams fall apart during slicing, the reasons can include off-condition of fresh meat, low salt levels, temperature abuse before
cooking, tumbling temperatures that are too high or too low, incorrect tumbling cycle, or excessive free brine in the tumbler.
- Quality ham production requires good quality meat, the correct curing formula, proper temperatures throughout the cycle, an
adequate final cooking temperature of 70-72°C, correct boning procedures, tight stuffing in the netting and cold temperatures
in storage and distribution.
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