Ham cure may bring home bacon

Tuesday, 05 October, 2004

Earlee Products has announced major developments in the ongoing commercial trials of its ham process - Schinkentec.

Derived from the German word 'Schinken' meaning ham, the process uses proved 'hurdle technology' that can extend the refrigerated shelf-life of hams for up to 12 months.

This is said to be the latest ham preservation process developed in Australia and is designed to improve transport and storage options for ham manufacturers and distributors and enhance demand for Australian pork.

The 'Schinkentec' process focuses on reducing the growth of bacteria on hams as well as inhibiting loss of flavour and colour common during storage due to microorganisms and oxidation.

A special blend of salt, honey, mineral salts and natural antioxidants is injected into the hams during the curing stage giving them their colour, flavour and juicy texture.

The cured raw hams are held in brine solution to evenly distribute the 'cure' and then cooked, showered, chilled and submerged in a temperature-controlled solution forming an 'active layer' around the ham, inhibiting microbial growth.

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