This descriptive report refers to a request for an invention patent
corresponding to a procedure and equipment for salting and during ham, the purpose
of which lies in achieving the reduction to values near 0 in relation to the loss
the normal alteration suffered by the entrepreneurs of the sector during the process
of salting and curing ham.
This invention is to applied within the industry dedicated to the
treatment of meat pieces, preferably with the industry dedicated to the treatment
of ham, shoulders and cured meat.
During the traditional process of salting-curing ham the brine used,
normally composed of salt to which a percentage of nitrates and nitrites is added,
slowly penetrates the meat piece from the periphery to the central part and, whilst
this is happening, the ham or similar meat piece looses its initial humidity and
is transformed into a micrologically-safe product.
The same importance is given to the fact of meticulously bleeding
the meat piece before being placed in the salting chamber, especially when the blood
may accumulate in the femoral artery.
The mentioned conventional and handicraft procedure is carried out
manually and it is intended to cure all the treated meat pieces, especially ham,
thus avoiding the almost certain deep alteration, that is decay, caused by the penetration
and spreading of micro-organisms present in the retained blood.
However, a large percentage of the treated meat pieces, especially
fresh ham meant for curing, have when fresh a deep alteration at the femoral-coccyx
joint, which is not only difficult to detect but is irremediably results in product
losses, returning of the goods and a decrease in the quality of the cured ham.
This alteration of the femoral-coccyx joint cannot be controlled by
means of the traditional salting process.
In normal conditions, the femoral-coccyx joint, that is the joint
formed by the head of the femur and the pit of the socket, is protected by the synovial
capsule of the joint itself. The function of the synovial capsule, formed by the
membrane of the capsule and the synovial fluid, is to avoid deterioration and breaking-up
of the bones it protects, as the density of the synovial fluid facilitates their
movement and rotation.
However, due to the present conditions of farming and handling, that
is intensive farming where the pigs hardly move, excessively long transport and
under anomalous conditions to the abattoirs, as well as the anesthetization of the
pigs, causes these animals to stamp and make convulsive movements, which are substantially
significant during the sacrifice and bleeding.
In a very high percentage of pigs, the above results in haemorrhage
and subsequent accumulation of blood in the femoral-coccyx joint and this accumulation
of blood together with the impermeability quality of the synovial membrane, which
does not allow the brine to go inside the joint, are the causes of losses and subsequent
The percentage of ham or meat pieces having blood in the femoral-coccyx
joint varies between 30% and 80%, depending on the farming and handling conditions
to which the animals are subjected.
It should be indicated that the deterioration caused by the presence
of blood in the femoral-coccyx joint is only detected once the ham is cured, whether
this be the sample slice or during slicing and/or handling after curing.
The following alterations are recorded for the total percentage of
hams having blood in the femoral-coccyx joint, established between 30% and 80%:
- 6% of the hams will be classified as total sample slice and in these hams a
deep decay is caused at the femoral-coccyx joint level, as the rupture of the synovial
membrane during the curing process helps the decay to affect the whole ham. The
above is detected during the sample slice phase as a very characteristic decaying
odor is noticed and these hams, which completely lose their value, are sold for
their ingestion together with other non-edible remains such as fat, skin, hair,
- 40% of these hams are classified as seriously damaged, these being meat pieces
shaped as ham or similar, which although in the sample slice do not have a strange
smell, when being consumed and reaching the femoral-coccyx joint area a darkening
and blackening of the area is noticed. Without a doubt this has been caused by small
fluid and blood retentions and, if during slicing, the consumer ruptures the synovial
membrane the rotten odor concentrated in the previously leaktight joint is revealed.
This situation results in many complaints and returns of the merchandise with the
corresponding substantial loss of the merchandise sold.
Apart from all these alterations, the greater presence of parasites
in the form of acarus, grasshoppers, etc. in the affected hams must be taken into
account, as the decay at the femoral-coccyx joint level acts as a decoy for this
type of insects. This influences the time and dedication that must be used during
maintenance and repair of these meat pieces.
The evident solution to the existing problem at this time would be
to be able to count on a procedure avoiding all the characteristics mentioned as
negative as regards distribution and consumption of meat pieces, preferably ham.
However, the applicant has no knowledge of the existence at this time
of an invention having determining characteristics that permit removing the described
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The procedure and equipment for salting and curing ham, which the
invention proposes, consists of using a stainless steel table, a tank-machine also
made of stainless steel, a pressure pump with liquid rotation, a hose ending in
a pistol provided with the needle of suitable length, as well as plastic containers
The stainless steel table is intended to be used for supporting and
fastening the ham or similar meat piece during the brine injection process. The
table in question must include drainage channels to avoid contact of the extracted
fluid with the meat pieces and the drainage channels will run into an outlet connected
in turn with a rigid tube to a leaktight tank, where the extracted liquid will be
The tank-machine will be used to store the brine to injected into
the meat piece. The pressure pump with liquid rotation will be used in such a way
that injection of the brine is permitted at the desired pressure.
As regards the hose ending in a pistol provided with a needle of suitable
length, this will have a number of suitable holes around the point of the needle
to permit correct removal of the brine, whiles the plastic containers with ice will
be used to maintain the brine at a constant temperature around 3°C and 5°C.
The brine to be used to avoid alterations in the femoral-coccyx joint
will consist of water, salt, sugar, preservatives and authorized antirust components.
The procedure in question consists of directly injecting the brine
into the femoral-coccyx joint and will be performed before placing the ham in the
salting chamber, where a traditional'curing process will be continued.
Before performing the brine injection, it must be verified that the
ham is perfectly refrigerated and that the internal temperature of the ham or similar
will be established between 3°C and 5°C.
The perforated needle is introduced through the medium face of the
ham and, passing through the different muscle fascia, is directed to the femoral-coccyx
joint. Once the membrane has been crossed, the handler will notice a sudden change
in the resistance, which is caused when the membrane is crossed, and an approximate
volume of 50 ml of brine will be injected inside the joint. Rupture of the membrane
due to excessive increase in the pressure on injecting the brine must be avoided.
Subsequently, the needle is slowly extracted, making sure that as
much synovial liquid as accumulated blood in the joint are removed to the outside
due to increasing the applied pressure only.
A small volume of injected brine will be retained inside the femoral-coccyx
joint and this fact will improve the suitable curing of the ham, even avoiding the
defects caused by small ruptures of the femoral bone during a traditional curing
PREFERRED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The recommended procedure and equipment for salting and curing ham
consists of using a stainless steel table, a stainless steel tank-machine, a pressure
pump with liquid rotation, a hose ending in a pistol provided with a needle of suitable
length, as well as plastic containers with ice to maintain the brine at a constant
temperature between 3°C and 5°C.
The brine is made of a mixture of water, salt, sugar, preservative
and authorized antirust components.
The brine will have a concentration of 0.16% and an approximate amount
of 50 ml will be injected in each meat piece, usually ham.
The brine will be prepared with cold drinking water and will be continuously
maintained refrigerated with ice containers.
In synthesis, the invention consists in the direct injection of brine
into the femoral-coccyx joint and this procedure will be performed before placing
the ham in the salting chamber, where the traditional curing process will be continued.
Before beginning the brine injection it will be verified that the
ham is perfectly refrigerated, and the internal temperature of the ham determined
between 3° and 5°C.
The perforated needle is introduced through the medium face of the ham and, passing
through the different muscle fascia, is directed to the femoral-coccyx joint. Once
the membrane has been crossed an approximate volume of 50 ml of brine will be injected
inside the joint. Rupture of the membrane due to excessive increase in the pressure
on injecting the brine must be avoided. Subsequently, the needle is slowly extracted,
making sure that as much synovial liquid as accumulated blood in the joint are removed
to the outside due to increasing the applied pressure only.
The results obtained in cured ham or similar meat pieces show that
the brine injection procedure into the femoral-coccyx joint and extraction of the
synovial liquid and accumulat blod completely dries out the area, thus avoiding
the above mentioned alterations in 100%.
At the same time, the appearance and attacks of "louse" and other
insects is avoided, reducing their appearance in 70% of the ham or similar meat
pieces as a result of the absence of the typical deep decay odor, thus avoiding
the typical hollows result of the activities of the "louse" and other insects.
Likewise, 80% of the small factures of the femur are repaired and
these fractures, located once the ham is boned in the case of performing a traditional
salting, may cause alterations and local bad odors.
The ham cured by this salting procedure has a pink-clean aspect when
boned, very pleasant for the sight and around the bone there are no strange odors,
which, added to the visual aspect it has, favors its acceptance and final marketing.