Fatty acid composition of selected varieties of Spanish dry-cured ham. Surveys from 1995 and 2007

M. M. Campo, I. Sierra


A total of 94 dry-cured white hams were purchased in the North-East of Spain in two years: 1995 and 2007, belonging to three different varieties: ‘Jamón Serrano’Traditional Speciality Guaranteed with a minimum of 7 months of curing time (JS), a common non-labelled inexpensive dry-ham and less than 6 months of curing time (J6m) and ‘Jamón de Teruel’ Protected Designation of Origin with a minimum of 12 months of curing time (JT). From these samples, the leg was deboned and a slice of the Biceps femoris was obtained which was then vacuum packaged and kept frozen until the fatty acid composition was analyzed. Only those fatty acids detected in 1995 have been taken in consideration for the comparison in 2007. Significant interactions between the year of the survey and the type of ham appeared only in minor fatty acids. The type of ham influenced most fatty acids, with JT showing the highest proportion of C16:0 and the lowest of C18:2 n-6 and C18:3 n-3 (p < 0.001) in both surveys. The highest percentage of oleic acid found in all hams in 2007 implied a significantly higher monounsaturated fatty acids composition in this year than in 1995. All types of hams and year of survey could be separated through a principal component analysis, which demonstrates the different quality of these hams in terms of fatty acid composition and that the dry-cured ham industry is in constant development towards a healthier fatty acid composition.


fatty acid development; intramuscular fat; Serrano ham; Teruel ham

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/20110901-047-10