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Effective strategies towards healthier fermented meat products



*Corresponding author

Agricultural University of Athens Laboratory of Food Quality Control and Hygiene,
Department of Food Science and Technology, Iera Odos 75, Athens, GR-11855, Greece


Fermented meat products have been intensively criticised mainly due to the utilisation of animal fat and additives such as sodium chloride and nitrites. Therefore, considerable amount of effort has been given towards replacing these ingredients without negatively affecting safety, quality or sensorial perception of the final products. Moreover, the addition of ingredients with enhanced nutritional properties is very desirable in order to obtain products with healthier nutritional attributes. In the present article, the most effective strategies towards healthier fermented meat are presented.


Production of fermented meat products includes mixing of minced lean meat, fatty tissue with curing agents, carbohydrates and spices, stuffing into casings and ripening. Pork lean meat as well as a mixture with beef lean meat are most frequently used, while other types of meat, such as mutton, are only rarely employed. The fatty tissue most frequently used is firm pork back fat as other fatty tissues might lead to organoleptically less acceptable products. Ripening of fermented sausages can be performed under various conditions. Products such as “Salame di Senise” require only one step, Greek fermented sausages and “chorizo” a two step- and “salciccia sotto sugna” a three-step procedure. All these variations in the amount and type of raw materials as well as ripening conditions give rise to a wide range of products.
From a nutritional point of view, fermented meat products have been the epicenter of intensive criticism over the last decade with the formulations employed being the main reason. Thus, several attempts have been made to modify or replace some of the ingredients and even add new ones towards enhanced health at ...

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