Ultrasonic monitoring of iberian fat crystallization during cold storage

Autores UPV
Revista IOP: Materials Science and Engineering


The aim of this work was to evaluate the use of ultrasonic measurements to characterize the crystallization process and to assess the textural changes of Iberian fat and Iberian ham during cold storage. The ultrasonic velocity was measured in two types of Iberian fats (Montanera and Cebo) during cold storage (0, 2, 5, 7 and 10 ºC) and in vacuum packaged Iberian ham stored at 6ºC for 120 days. The fatty acid profile, thermal behaviour and textural properties of fat were determined. The ultrasonic velocity and textural measurements showed a two step increase during cold storage, which was related with the separate crystallization of two fractions of triglycerides. It was observed that the harder the fat, the higher the ultrasonic velocity. Likewise, Cebo fat resulted harder than Montanera due to a higher content of saturated triglycerides. The ultrasonic velocity in Iberian ham showed an average increase of 55 m/s after 120 days of cold storage due to fat crystallization. Thus, non-destructive ultrasonic technique could be a reliable method to follow the crystallization of fats and to monitor the changes in the textural properties of Iberian ham during cold storage.