Send Us Feedback

Interactive Technology Portal
From Food Tech Innovation Portal

Drying of non-fermented meat products


Key words Dry, meat product, non-fermented
Latest version 2010/12/21
Completed by IRTA

How does it work?

Primary objective
  • To obtain a stable meat product by drying
  • To increase shelf life
Working principle The structure and texture of product changes by drying. Curing flavours appear due to the curing process.

Shelf life is extended by means of water activity decrease and salts content.

Additional effects Density changes, mass reduction, flavour and texture modification, microbiological changes (microbiological stabilization).
Important process parameters temperature, humidity, weight loss
Important product parameters pH, water activity, product composition (water, fat, protein, collagen…), salt

What can it be used for?

Products Meat products (pork, beef, poultry...)
Operations Mincing, mixing, drying
Solutions for short comings
  • Increase the yield of processing.
  • Obtain a new food product.
  • Increase the product stability.
  • Due to new needs in western diets specific ingredients like flavonoids - fitosterols - probiotics and other active ingredients can be included in the formula.
  • Special dietary requirements can be taken into account f.e. reduced salt content or low fat. The use of healthy ingredients doesn’t influence the drying process; even so the use of low content of salt substitutes must be controlled.

What can it NOT be used for?

Products Vegetarian products
Operations Thermal treatment (cooking, pasteurisation, sterilisation)
Other limitations
Risks or hazards Microbial risk appears when the drying process is not completely achieved, due to an excess in water activity. Then, product could deteriorate or shelf life could be reduced.


Maturity This technology is widely described in the literature as this is a traditional process know for decades. Due to new technologies, new ingredients, introduction of artificial casings (improving microbiological stability and product stability) can be found.

New developments in the drying process have been implemented. For example, better control of the water mass transfer is developed (weight loss, water activity) by the use of weight scales and probes connected to PLCs.

Modularity /Implementation This technology can be implemented in the production line.
Consumer aspects Traditionally produced products are widely accepted by consumers.

New product developments need the acceptance of new flavours and textures by the consumer (5).

Legal aspects
  • Commission regulation(EC) No 2073/2005 of 15 November 2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs
  • European Parliament and Council Directive No 95/2/EC of 20 February 1995; Corrigendum to Directive 2006/52/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 amending Directive 95/2/EC on food additives other than colours and sweeteners and Directive 94/35/EC on sweeteners for use in foodstuffs
Environmental aspects New technology improvements are intended to reduce energy consumption during drying process (traditional chamber drying is high energy demanding).

Further Information

Institutes IRTA, CSIC - IATA, UNEX, University of Zaragoza, SSICA, INRA
Companies Vismara, Abraham, Fleury-Michon, Espuña
References 1. Arnau J., Serra X., Comaposada J., Gou P. & Garriga M. (2007). Technologies to shorten the drying period of dry-cured meat products. Meat Science 77, 81-89.

2. Advanced technologies for meat processing (2006). Edited by Leo M. L. Nollet, Fidel Toldrá; Boca Raton, CRC/Taylor & Francis.

3. Ruiz-Ramirez J., Arnau J., Serra X., and Gou P. (2005). Relationship between water content, nacl content, pH and texture parameters in dry-cured muscles. Meat Science 70, 579-587.

4. Research advances in the quality of meat and meat products (2002). Edited by Fidel Toldrá. Trivandrum, India; Research Signpost.

5. Guerrero, L., Gou P. & Arnau, J. (1999). The influence of meat ph on mechanical and sensory textural properties of dry-cured ham. Meat Science 52: 267-273.

6. Developments in meat science. 4 (1988). Edited by Ralston Lawrie. London, Elsevier Applied Science.

Translate this page with Google Translator (automatic translation)
Created by Hte irta on 9 February 2012, at 12:28