The Effect of Sodium Lactate and Sodium Citrate Solutions on the Quality Characteristics of Restructured Hams

University of Nebraska 2007 Swine Report. Food safety issues are the number one concern of food processors who make ready-to-eat meat products. Organic acids are being added to meat formulations to add an additional hurdle in the fi ght against food borne pathogens. This research evaluates the quality and palatability of restructured hams utilizing consumer taste panels, color changes under light exposure, shear-force values, cooking loss, pH, and packaged purge. It provides additional results of research to utilize organic acids in ham production. When these acids are applied to meat to help extend shelf- life, concern with the possible changes in palatability, productivity, and overall quality of the meat product must be studied. Results showed no fl avor differences were detected by consumer panelists, however, decreases in juiciness and texture values were observed. Color differences between hams were also observed, but the differences were slight and consumers would not likely be able to detect them. No differences in smokehouse yields were observed between the treatments. Percent purge, pH, and shear force differences were observed. Enhancing food safety and increasing shelf-life with the addition of various organic acid salts to ready-to-eat meat products has been growing rapidly over recent years. Some common organic acid salts added to meat products are sodium lactate, sodium citrate, and sodium diacetate. Although much work has been done with the organic acid salts ability to decrease microbial growth, little work has been done to test the palatability and overall quality of the meat products.