Impact on Meat Processing sector

ProCured provides a means to more accurately control the salting process, and to produce dry-cured meat products with reduced salt content.

The expected economic benefits for end-user meat processors are manifold. First, ProCured technology will allow them to improve the reproducibility of their production processes. This will result in products with more consistent quality, which is a major issue from the perspective of consumers. Moreover, ProCured technology will strongly reduce the incidence of meat pieces with an excessive salt content, thus improving the product quality, avoiding consumer complaints, and increasing brand prestige and reputation.

The accurate control of the salting process will also have an incidence on other steps of the production process. In particular, a more homogeneous salt uptake, and an accurate sorting of raw meat at the reception point will also allow improving the homogeneity of the curing process. Beyond the direct impact that such improvement may have on the quality of the final product, ProCured will also allow meat processors to achieve a reduction in the dispersion of weight losses on the overall production. Moreover, this will represent and substantial economic benefits to meat processors, associated to the direct increase of the process yield.

A last remarkable benefit for meat processors deals with the fact that the ProCured technology will allow them to produce new product segments with reduced salt content. In this sense, the ProCured technology brings two key technological improvements. First, by improving the control of the salting process, meat processors will be able to adapt the salting conditions to reduce the salt content, without compromising the microbiological quality of the product. And second, ProCured technology will provide them a tool for continuously monitoring the salt content in their products, piece by piece. This will allow producers to ensure an appropriate level of salt in all their production, and at the same time, will provide them also an objective means to assess the target reduction of 25% in order to be able to label their products as products with “Reduced salt content”, in compliance with the EC directives.

Impact on society

The reduction of the average sodium consumption is a major European objective towards improving public health, due to its well established relation with the increased risk for cardiovascular accidents and chronic diseases. Processed meat and in particular dry‐cured meat products, are the most important source of salt intake in European diet, with variable salt contents depending on product type (ex: 5%‐8% in ham, or 3%‐4%  in  bacon).  The  sodium  content  in  just  100  g  of  dry  cured  meat  is  above  the  daily  salt  intake recommended by the WHO.

The consumption of dry‐cured products in most European countries is significant, like in the case of Spain (3.8  kg/year  per  habitant).  Therefore, the  reduction  of  salt  content  in  dry‐cured  products  notably contributes towards improving the health and quality of life of European citizens.

ProCured will contribute to the creation of employment within the European Union, by enabling the creation of new production technologies that will enable the development of higher quality and higher value products.