Curing of meat

It was the process of treating meat with rock salt that led to modern curing practices. There is evidence of meat preservation with salt as early as 3000 BC and it is clear that the Romans utilized rock salt for a variety of meat preservation treatments.

Curing is the process of preserving meat for future needs primarily with salt; a byproduct of the curing processes is the added flavor that curing imparts, especially when spices and herbs are used. Among cured meats that are available in the market, hot dogs, other sausages and frankfurter, salami, bologna, pepperoni as well as ham, bacon and corn beef.

Almost all meats have a high percentage of water which must be removed to prevent spoilage, and the application of slat to meat extracts most of this water. Salt is to act as a preservative and to impart the characteristic salty character. It also increases the water-holding capacity of protein and thus enhances water uptake.

At the same time, salt, as it invades the meat, produces an antibacterial action to prevent meat from spoiling.

Cured meats represent a large portion of the processed meat products consumed in North America.

These processed meats are attractive in their color, flavor, texture and are popular because they combine variety with convenience of relatively long shelf-life and storage stability.
Curing of meat

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