Preservation of a meat product by fermentation and drying has been used for hundreds of years. For a long time, the technology of fermentation has been considered an “art”; however, more recently the process has been studied and as a result, products of quality can now be repeatedly produced under controlled conditions.
Dry or semidry fermented sausages are prepared by mixing ground meat with various combinations of spices, flavourings, salt, sugar, additives and bacterial cultures. The mixtures, in bulk or after stuffing, are allowed to ferment at different temperatures for varying periods of time. Following fermentation, the product may be smoked and/or dried under controlled conditions of temperature and relative humidity.
Chemical acidification may be used to help lowering the pH. Citric acid or glucono delta lactone are commonly used for this purpose. If product is acidified, controls shall be in place and records kept to ensure that pH of 5.3 or lower is achieved by the conclusion of the process.