Quality of Dry-Cured Ham Compared with Quality of Dry-Cured Shoulder


Direct inquiries to authors Reina (E-mail: raquelrt@unex.es) and García (E-mail: cgarciag@unex.es).


The physicochemical and sensory properties of 30 dry-cured hams and 30 dry-cured shoulders were analyzed to determine the relationships between them. The variables used to characterize both products were: compositional parameters, instrumental texture, amino acid and fatty acid composition, and sensory profile. Despite being products from the same animal and composed mainly of fat, lean, and bone, their morphological differences determine the conditions of the processing time, which produced differences between products in most of the parameters evaluated. Dry-cured shoulders showed lower moisture content and greater instrumental hardness due to their morphology and muscular structure. Besides, these samples showed lower amino acid content according to the shorter ripening time. For the same reason, the dry-cured hams showed higher moisture content, lower instrumental hardness, and higher amino acid content. However, the differences in the muscular structure did not affect the sensory characteristics, which were more related with some compositional parameters, such as chloride, moisture, and amino acid content and with the length of the curing process.