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Authors: Aleksandra Silovska Nikolova
Keywords: dry-cured pork loin, nitrite salt, Swiss chard powder, starter cultures
Issue Date: 23-Feb-2024
Abstract: The study explored potential methods for producing dry-cured pork loin in an industrial setting, comparing variants produced with and without nitrite curing salt. Conducted at the meat processing company "Rimes MS Group DOO". the research used their standard production process as a reference. Five batches of dry-cured pork loin were created through three iterations: Group I: Negative control, using table salt and dextrose; Group II: Positive control, incorporating nitrite curing salt and dextrose; Group III: Nitrite curing salt, dextrose, and BactoFlavor Rosa starter culture; Group IV: Table salt, Swiss chard powder from first manufacturer, dextrose, and BactoFlavor Rosa; and Group V: Table salt, Swiss chard powder from second manufacturer, dextrose, and BactoFlavor Rosa. The study investigated the impact of Swiss chard powder as a natural nitrite source, on various aspects, including physico-chemical properties, chemical composition, color and texture characteristics, sensory properties, and microbiological features of dry-cured pork loin. The analysis was conducted at specific intervals: day 0 (12 hours after salting), day 7, 14, and 21 (post-salting), day 0 (after smoking and initiation of the ripening process), day 7, 14, and 18 (ripening and end of production), midpoint of shelf life (90 days after production), and end of shelf life (180 days after production). It was found that dry-cured pork loin produced in groups IV and V, which utilized Swiss chard powder along with starter cultures, had significantly (p ≤ 0.05) lower levels of residual nitrites and nitrates compared to those with added nitrite salt. Low TBA number indicated that fat oxidation is almost completely prevented in all groups of dry-cured pork loin until the expiration dates. None of the five groups showed the presence of histamine until the expiry date. Instrumental analysis of surface and cross-section color revealed that dry-cured pork loin from group III, where starter culture was added, exhibited superior color development and stability (p ≤ 0.05) compared to the positive control group II (produced with nitrite salt). Dry-cured pork loin from groups IV and V, produced with Swiss chard powder, demonstrated color development and stability similar to the positive control group II. Group III, with added starter cultures, also received significantly (p ≤ 0.05) better sensory evaluations than the positive control group II. Both dry-cured pork loin groups using Swiss chard powder (IV and V) exhibited acceptable sensory characteristics, outperforming the positive control group II in terms of typicality and color intensity of fresh cross-section, texture profile, and aroma profile. Overall, the use of Swiss chard powder in industrial production of dry-cured pork loin eliminates the need for harmful nitrite curing salt, enhancing both the safety and quality of the product.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food: PhD Theses

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