Among the typical products, dry-cured ham has a relevant economic and social value in many European countries, including Italy. Considering the importance of the sector, great attention is placed in obtaining products with high quality and compliance standards. To ensure them the PDO Consortia adopt shared guidelines and strict requirements, covering the whole production process. The authors, illustrating the results of a "PRIN" project that considered the three main Italian PDO hams, highlight the properties that determine the perception of quality of this product and the importance of factors which, acting in different stages of the production chain, influence consumer’s behavior.The sensory identity of ham is the most important product cue for consumer discrimination and preference. The information about origin generates expectations for specific sensory properties, which are considered PDO distinctive and affect the hedonic response. However, the sensory specificity communicated by ham designation of origin is not always recognized at consumption time and this constitutes a serious risk for the reputation and success of a typical product. These findings are relevant for producers who are suggested to market hams with a constant sensory profile for the properties that define product identity. It is in respect of the preservation and enhancement of these identity properties that it should be evaluated the "sustainability" of the choices of production, such as the selection of the raw materials, the technological procedures as well as the communication of the product quality.Within this framework, the paper also presents and discusses the effects of the heavy pig genotype and processing technology on the compliance requirements and sensory profile of dry-cured hams and their influence on the liking and preference of Italian PDO consumers.
Caratteri di idoneità e tipicità percepita nel prosciutto crudo / E., Monteleone; E., Pagliarini; LO FIEGO, Domenico Pietro; E., Piasentier. - STAMPA. - II:(2011), pp. 132-141.