Meat+Poultry - June 2018 - 22
1. SALTING: 15 days
2. EQUALIZATION: 6 to 8 weeks
3. FERMENTATION: 7 days
4. AGING: 8 to 14 months
the four seasons of the year, Stefano says.
"Dry curing is all about vacillations of
humidity, up and down and up and down," he
says, and striking the right balance to avoid
LOOKING TO IMPROVE
FOOD SAFETY, YIELD
& SHELF LIFE?
too much moisture on the surface of the
products without drying out the inside of
the meat is critical.
"You need both cold and hot," Stefano
says. "Prosciutto is the product of four
seasons. It starts with the winters when
they slaughter the hogs and they go
through the salting. Then in the spring time
temperatures go up a little bit and then
summer and fall. By the next winter, the
products are ready to sell. What we're doing
inside here is we are mimicking seasons."
The robots that manage the movement
of the prosciutto hams and salame are
programmed not only to keep the products
progressing through the aging rooms but
also circulating empty racks to be washed.
They also drive themselves to charging
stations during downtime to get ready for
their next "assignment."
With a trained and honed sense of smell,
Stefano can easily tell what part of the plant
he is in, even if he were blindfolded. During
one stop during a recent tour of
the new plant, he picks up the
scent of the natural nitrification
that occurs in the hams, saying,
"as the DNA of the meat breaks
down it releases this incredible
smell," inhaling with his nose in
the air and smiling.
Visit WTI and learn how at
Daniele hams are sourced from
heritage breed hogs, including
Berkshire and Duroc, each weighing
between 28 lbs. and 32 lbs. when
they arrive at the plant. After
the months-long curing process,
deboning and skinning, the final
ham weight is typically about 12 lbs.
Hams are minimally trimmed
by hand before being weighed,
tagged and sorted into small,
medium and large sizes. Robots
move the incoming hams
onto the shelves of tall racks
according to size (small, medium,
large) until they are ready for
salting, usually about a day later.
The cut portion of the ham, or
"face," is the part of the ham
where the salt is absorbed, but
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06.18 | www.meatpoultry.com
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