Whole, lean hams were ground and thoroughly mixed with curing ingredients, NaNO2 (150 ppm), NaNO3 (600 ppm), sodium ascorbate (275 ppm) and sodium erythorbate (275 ppm); sodium chloride (l-10%) and -sodium tripolyphosphate (0.15-.9%) or equivalent amounts of sodium pyrophosphate. The meat with the additives was analyzed for meat shrinkage using the centrifugal tube method. It was shown that: (a) the curing ingredients NaNO2 NaNO3 sodium ascorbate and sodium erythorbate have little effect on meat shrinkage; (b) addition of 1 - 3% salt reduced the meat shrink from 34 to 14%, followed by a plateau at 3-5% salt additions and a continuous increase of the meat shrink with the increase of the salt addition from 5 to 10%; (c) addition of 0.3% TPP with 3-S% salt decreased the meat shrink to 5%; (d) the equivalent addition of PP (0.217%) was equally effective; and (e) no significant effect on the meat shrink was observed by increasing the TPP addition above 0.3%. Cut-and-formed smoked, cured ham containing 3% salt, 0.3% TPP (or 0.217% PP) and the other curing ingredients was as acceptable as the ham with 0.5% TPP (or 0.362% PP). The product with 0.3% TPP had equally good color, flavor and texture and was as resistant to rancidity development (TBA-values) during refrigerated storage as the product with 0.5% TPP. Therefore, based on these data, the presently allowed use by USDA of 0.5% TPP in cure hams can be reduced to a maximum allowance of 0.3%.