Section 3: Science of salt in pig products
Fresh meat normally has a low salt content (0.18 g per 100 g meat); however, salt has been used since ancient times to preserve meat, mainly because of its bacteriostatic properties. Salt also has an impact on meat's water-holding capacity by activating proteins to increase hydration; it increases the binding properties of proteins, improving firmness, and it increases the viscosity of meat emulsion and enhances flavour. In modern meat processing, fat and salt jointly contribute to many of the sensory properties of processed meat products. The relationship between the salt content of a meat and its perceived saltiness can be influenced by other ingredients, for example fat content (Matulis et al., 1995; Ruusunen et al., 2001; Ruusunen et al., 2005; Sheard et al., 2010). This section of the material will enlarge on these principles and explain the science behind them.