|374-1||MOULD POPULATION IN DRY-CURED TERUEL HAM IN THE COURSE OF RIPENING|
|Autores:||Cristina Alapont (UCH-CEU - UNIVERSIDAD CEU CARDENAL HERRERA) ; Pedro Vicente Martinez-culebras (UV - UNIVERSIDAD DE VALENCIA) ; Mercedes Gabriela Reiter (FURB - UNIVERSIDAD REGIONAL DE BLUMENAU) ; Maria Carmen Lopez-mendoza (UCH-CEU - UNIVERSIDAD CEU CARDENAL HERRERA) |
Teruel ham is one of the dry-cured ham Denominations of Protected Origin (DPO) in Spain. It is prepared from the thighs of select pigs and stored in plants for a minimum aging period of 14 months. Pork thighs undergo the following process: (i) salting at low temperatures (ii) post-salting (iii) ripening and aging.
Microorganisms play a key role in aging, a process that requires the presence of moulds –and especially native moulds–, which determine the sensory characteristics specific to each production area (León, 1990). Mould growth is associated with a long period of aging, which is more pronounced in the finals stages during which the composition and the water activity of hams, together with the temperature and RH of aging rooms, are conducive to mould growth and colonization of muscle surfaces (Ayres et al., 1980; Comi et al., 2004; Northolt et al., 1982; Parolari, 1996; Pietri et al., 2006). Mycobiota is generally welcome because associated enzymatic activities, like lipolysis, lipid oxidation, proteolysis and amino acid degradation, contribute to the development of the characteristic flavor of this product (Barbieri et al., 1992; Bolzoni et al., 1996; Martín et al., 2004b; Ruiz et al., 1999).
Therefore, for ham to mature properly, fungi must be present and especially autochthonous strains that are responsible for the organoleptic characteristics of each production area.
Finally, it is noteworthy that some fungi can produce mycotoxins, stable secondary metabolites with marked toxicity, under specific conditions which could affect the wholesomeness of the product (Battilani et al., 2007; Núñez et al., 1996).
For all these reasons, there has been ever growing interest in the study of fungi present in dry-cured ham in recent years. However, literature on the characterization of fungal biota from DPO dry-cured Teruel ham has not been found. Thus, this work aimed is to study the time-course changes in fungal composition, from the product surface and from the air of different processing chambers, during the processing of DPO dry-cured Teruel ham. Mould counts were performed for 67 dry-cured hams and 80 air sedimentation samples from two manufacturing plants of Teruel Denomination of Protected Origen. Samples were taken from three stages of production: postsalting, ripening and aging. The higher counts were obtained for the aging stage. From these samples, 338 fungal colonies, whose appearance differed visibly were isolated and identified to genus level. The genera isolated were predominantly Penicillium (65.45%), Cladosporium (13.52%) and Aspergillus (13.25%). Isolation frequencies were similar in samples from ham and from air and Penicillium was the most frequently occurring.
Palavras-chave: dry-cured ham, moulds, Penicillium, meat products, processing areas