Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
Subjective ratings for muscle color and firmness were utilized to segment 299 fresh hams into four different quality groups (low, average, high, dark and soft). Individual hams were pumped to 115% of their green weights with a 62° brine (8–2–2 mixture) by either an artery (188 hams) or stitch (111 hams) brine injection system and then held at 3°C for a 21-day brine equalization period. The hams were then washed, placed in stockinettes and smoked. Prior to smoking, individual hams were assigned to one of six smoking schedules which were based upon three different levels of relative humidity (40, 60 and 80%) and two heating schedules (60, 71, 82°C and 49, 60, 71°C, dry bulb). Center-cut slices (1.25 cm thick) were removed from five or six average quality hams in each smoking schedule. Three 0.3 cm thick slices were removed from the top (medial side) and two 0.3 cm thick slices from the bottom (lateral side) of each center-cut slice for smoke deposition determinations (phenolic compounds). Artery-pumped hams produced significantly higher processing yields than the stitch-pumped hams. Smoke deposition was not affected by method of brine injection. Processing yields were significantly lower for the low-quality group of hams. Smoking schedules employing the lower smokehouse temperatures and relative humidities (40 and 60%) produced higher overall processing yields. At the higher temperature schedule, 60% relative humidity decidedly reduced overall processing yields. Processors desiring to use higher smokehouse temperatures should use a relative humidity greater than or less than, but not equal to, 60% to optimize processing yields. The concentrations of phenols observed in all six treatments would result in acceptable smoke flavor ratings.
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