In Sardinia, goat farming is a very important resource. Sarda and Maltese breed are reared mainly for milk production and for suckling kids meat, while meat from adult goats is undervalued. The use of adult goat meat to obtain ripened ham will contribute to safeguard the Sardinian goat supply chain. The aim of the present study was to characterize Sarda and Maltese goat dry ham in order to evaluate the quality of autochthonous goat breed meat. Chemical-physical characteristics were determined dur-ing the production stages, while the rheological and colour parameters and the composition of the goat ham were determined at the end of ripening. The pH evolution during processing were similar to other cured meat products, e.g. sheep hams, even though the values were high, especially in the products from Sarda breed. The aw value regularly decreased during processing. Colour parameters (L*, a*, b*) in the hams from Maltese goat breed were significantly (P<0.05) higher than in those from Sarda. The Sarda goat ham showed a significantly lower percentage of moisture (42% vs 52%), an higher protein content (44.35% vs 34.19%), while no differences were pointed out in the total fat content. Among the ham rheological properties, hardness parameters showed higher levels (13850.22±7589.92 vs 11073.99±6481.31, respectively in Sarda and Maltese hams) in comparison to similar products from pork and sheep, while adhesiveness value was lower. The results show that the quality parameters of goat ripened hams are affected mainly by the charac-teristics of the goat meat, in relation on the breed and the breeding system, and, less, by the traditional technology.
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