Date of this Version
The use of organic acid salts in the meat industry enhances product shelf life and safety. Minimal research is available evaluating the effects of high levels of organic acid salts on quality and sensory attributes of ready-to-eat products. Whole muscle hams were cured with brine solutions containing one of the following organic acid salt additions: 0% Control; 2.5 or 3.5% L-sodium lactate and sodium diacetate; 1.3,2.5, or 3.5% buffered sodium citrate; 1.3,2.5, or 3.5% buffered sodium citrate and sodium diacetate. The increased use of organic acid salts decreased product moisture and cooking yield (P < 0.05). Sensory panelists perceived decreased overall acceptability, with increased sourness/acidity and bitterness. Moderate levels of organic acid salts provided more acceptable products while maintaining many sensory attributes. Meat processors choosing to use organic acid salts in ready-to-eat products should be cautious as product yield losses and flavor changes may outweigh benefits at certain levels.