Before the advent of refrigeration, curing was the addition of salt to meat for the purpose of preservation.

Used to produce – pleasant flavor, color and appearance

Ingredients include NaCl, NaNO3 and NaNO2

Functions of the salts.

NaCl – Used in all curing formulae, not in high concentration to effect preservation purposes. If used as such the product would be too salty. Used to enhance flavor

NaNO3. Used as Sodium or potassium salt. Responsible for the color but it must be reduced to NO2 by microorganisms


Used as Na or K salt. Responsible for the color as it combines with myoglobin to form nitrosomyoglobulin

With refrigeration, curing achieves unique color, flavor, texture *in massaged or tumbled products)and palatability

Curing divided into: Traditional and Rapid cures

Central principle is to ensure distribution of cure ingredients

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