Computed Tomography (CT) is one of the emerging technologies of interest to food industries as it permits non-destructive control of the product during the elaboration process.
CT has been found to be especially helpful when studying the salting and drying process of dry-cured ham.
Salt and water content as well as water activity can be predicted in dry-cured ham during the elaboration process using developed predictive models, which use X-rays emitted at two different energies (80 and 120 kV). Using these models, salt, water or water activity distribution images can be obtained, which are useful for studying elaboration processes.
Prediction of these parameters enables the establishment of minimal threshold values of these parameteres in critical areas, which in turn can be used as criteria to avoid either sensory defects or microbiological hazards.
CT is especially helpful when optimizing elaboration processes in which salt content is reduced.
- Study of factors affecting the salting process.
- Control of food safety and quality of salt-reduced products.
- Optimization of salting, post-salting and drying processes.
- Evaluation of final product quality.
- Improvement of productivity and automation.
- Quality management of salt-reduced products.
- Food safety of salt-reduced products.
- Optimization of elaboration processes.