• Measuring the lean content of carcasses using TOBEC

      Allen, Paul; McGeehin, Brian (Teagasc, 2001-05)
      This project examined the potential of two objective methods of measuring the lean and fat content of meat carcasses and cuts. Total Body Electrical Conductivity (TOBEC) and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) are both based on the different conductivity of lean and fat tissues. TOBEC measures the absorption by a carcass or cut of electrical energy from an electromagnetic field whereas BIA measures the resistance to the flow of an electrical current. TOBEC is a large and relatively expensive piece of equipment that is fully automated. BIA is small and relatively low cost but requires an operator.
    • Meat quality characteristics of high dairy genetic-merit Holstein, standard dairy genetic-merit Friesian and Charolais × Holstein-Friesian steers

      McGee, Mark; Keane, Michael G.; Neilan, R.; Caffrey, P.J.; Moloney, Aidan (Compuscript Ltd.Teagasc, 2021-03-05)
      The increased use of Holstein genetic material in the Irish dairy herd has consequences for beef production. In all, 42 spring-born steers [14 Holsteins (HO), 14 Friesian (FR) and 14 Charolais × Holstein-Friesian (CH)] were reared to slaughter at between 26 and 37 mo of age. Carcass weight was higher and the lipid concentration of m. longissimus thoracis et lumborum was lower (P < 0.05) for CH than the dairy breeds. Overall acceptability tended to be lower (P = 0.055) while tenderness, texture and chewiness were lower (P < 0.05) for CH compared with the dairy breeds. The proportion of C16:1 in the total lipid tended to be lower (P = 0.055) for CH than the dairy breeds. Replacing male offspring of traditional “Irish” Friesian bulls with offspring from a genetically superior (from a dairy perspective) strain of Holstein bull had no commercially important impact on beef nutritional or eating quality.
    • Mechanical and Biochemical Methods for Rigor Measurement: Relationship with Eating Quality

      Álvarez García, Carlos; Morán, Lara; Keenan, Derek F.; Mullen, Anne Maria; Delgado-Pando, Gonzalo; Basque Government; IT944-16 (Hindawi, 2019-06-13)
      Meat quality parameters are affected by a complex series of interacting chemical, biochemical, physical, and physiological components that determine not only the suitability for consumption and the conditions for further processing and storage but also consumer acceptability. Deep understanding and careful manipulation of these intrinsic and extrinsic factors have to be taken in account to ensure high quality of meat, with better technological properties and increased safety for consumers. Among meat quality characteristics, meat tenderness has been perceived as the most important factor governing consumer acceptability. Therefore, being able to early predict meat texture and other related parameters in order to guarantee consistent eating quality to the final consumer is one of the most sought-after goals in the meat industry. Accurate measurements of both the biochemical and mechanical characteristics that underpin muscle and its transformation into meat are key factors to an improved understanding of meat quality, but also this early-stage measurements may be useful to develop methods to predict final meat texture. It is the goal of this review to present the available research literature on the historical and contemporary analyses that could be applied in early postmortem stages (pre-rigor and rigor) to determine the biochemical and physical characteristics of the meat that can potentially impact the eating quality.
    • Mechanical Grading of beef carcasses

      Allen, Paul; Finnerty, Nicholas; European Union; European Union (Teagasc, 2001-10)
      Three beef carcass classification systems that use Video Image Analysis (VIA) technology were tested in two trials at Dawn Meats Midleton, Co. Cork. The VIA systems were BCC2, manufactured by SFK Technology, Denmark, VBS2000, manufactured by E+V, Germany, and VIAscan, manufactured by Meat and Livestock Australia. The first trial, conducted over a 6-week period in July/August 1999, calibrated the VIA systems on a large sample of carcasses and validated these calibrations on a further sample obtained at the same time. The second trial, conducted in the first two weeks of March 2000, was a further validation trial. The reference classification scores were determined by a panel of three experienced classifiers using the EUROP grid with 15 subclasses for conformation class and 15 sub-classes for fat. In the first trial the accuracy of the VIA systems at predicting saleable meat yield in steer carcasses was also assessed.
    • Meta-proteomics for the discovery of protein biomarkers of beef tenderness: An overview of integrated studies

      Picard, Brigitte; Gagaoua, Mohammed; Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant; Enterprise Ireland; Pôle Aquitain Agro-Alimentation et Nutrition; National Institute of Agronomical Research; National Institute of Origin and Quality; FNADT Massif Central; DATAR Massif Central; ANR GenAnimal; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2020-01)
      This meta-proteomics review focused on proteins identified as candidate biomarkers of beef tenderness by comparing extreme groups of tenderness using two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) associated with mass spectrometry (MS). We reviewed in this integromics study the results of 12 experiments that identified protein biomarkers from two muscles, Longissimus thoracis (LT) and Semitendinosus (ST), of different types of cattle: young bulls, steers or cows from beef breeds (Charolais, Limousin, Blond d’Aquitaine), hardy breed (Salers) or mixed breed (PDO Maine-Anjou). Comparative proteomics of groups differing in their tenderness evaluated by instrumental Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) or by sensory analysis using trained panelists, revealed 61 proteins differentially abundant (P < 0.05) between tender and tough groups. A higher number of discriminative proteins was observed for LT (50 proteins) compared to ST muscle (28 proteins). The Gene Ontology annotations showed that the proteins of structure and contraction, protection against oxidative stress and apoptosis, energy metabolism, 70 family HSPs and proteasome subunits are more involved in LT tenderness than in ST. Amongst the list of candidate biomarkers of tenderness some proteins such as HSPB1 are common between the 2 muscles whatever the evaluation method of tenderness, but some relationships with tenderness for others (MYH1, TNNT3, HSPB6) are inversed. Muscle specificities were revealed in this meta-proteomic study. For example, Parvalbumin (PVALB) appeared as a robust biomarker in ST muscle whatever the evaluation method of tenderness. HSPA1B seems to be a robust candidate for LT tenderness (with WBSF) regardless the animal type. Some gender specificities were further identified including similarities between cows and steers (MSRA and HSPA9) in contrast to bulls. The comparison of the 12 proteomic studies revealed strong dissimilarities to identify generic biomarkers of beef tenderness. This integrative analysis allowed better understanding of the biological processes involved in tenderness in two muscles and their variations according to the main factors underlying this quality. It allowed also proposing for the first time a comprehensive list of candidate biomarkers to be evaluated deeply to validate their relationships with tenderness on a large number of cattle and breeds.
    • Model System for the Production of Enzyme Modified Cheese (EMC) Flavours.

      Kilcawley, Kieran; Beresford, Tom; Lee, B.; Wilkinson, M.G.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; Irish Dairy Levy Research Trust (Teagasc, 01/04/2002)
      Natural cheese flavour ingredients, in the form of enzyme modified cheeses (EMCs), are widely used in the convenience food industry and can provide high volume added opportunities for the cheese industry. Many EMCs are produced using commercial enzyme preparations and previous studies have indicated that they contain side activities in addition to their stated main activity (see DPRC Report No.10). Therefore, it is critical that the exact enzyme complement of these preparations are known before they can be used to produce EMC of specific requirements on a consistent basis. The scientific basis of rapid enzyme mediated flavour formation in the production of EMCs is not fully understood. Consequently this knowledge gap is a major obstacle in the development of high value cheese flavour ingredients. Hence, a major objective of this project was to deepen the scientific understanding of flavour formation with a view to the production of natural enzyme-mediated dairy flavour ingredients with commercial potential. The ultimate aim was to develop the technology to produce customised high value dairy flavour ingredients in an optimised process.
    • Monitoring post mortem changes in porcine muscle through 2-D DIGE proteome analysis of Longissimus muscle exudate

      Di Luca, Alessio; Elia, Giuliano; Mullen, Anne Maria; Hamill, Ruth M; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; 06RDNUIG470 (Biomed Central, 20/03/2013)
      Background: Meat quality is a complex trait influenced by a range of factors with post mortem biochemical processes highly influential in defining ultimate quality. High resolution two-dimensional DIfference Gel Electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) and Western blot were applied to study the influence of post mortem meat ageing on the proteome of pork muscle. Exudate collected from the muscle following centrifugation was analysed at three timepoints representing a seven day meat ageing period. Results: The intensity of 136 spots varied significantly (p < 0.05) across this post mortem period and 40 spots were identified using mass spectrometry. The main functional categories represented were metabolic proteins, stress-related proteins, transport and structural proteins. Metabolic and structural proteins were generally observed to increase in abundance post mortem and many likely represent the accumulation of the degradation products of proteolytic enzyme activity. In contrast, stress-related proteins broadly decreased in abundance across the ageing period. Stress response proteins have protective roles in maintaining cellular integrity and a decline in their abundance over time may correlate with a reduction in cellular integrity and the onset of meat ageing. Since cellular conditions alter with muscle ageing, changes in solubility may also contribute to observed abundance profiles. Conclusions: Muscle exudate provided valuable information about the pathways and processes underlying the post mortem ageing period, highlighting the importance of post mortem modification of proteins and their interaction for the development of meat quality traits.
    • Near infra-red spectroscopy in the food industry: a tool for quality management

      Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 1999-03)
      Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is a rapid, non-destructive analytical technique which has been used in the food and agriculture industries for almost 20 years. Ireland was one of the first countries in the world to adopt this method for national trading purposes and the grain trade has used it for off-farm and in-process analysis since 1981. However, other sectors have been slower to realise its potential and as part of a process of demonstrating the role which it may play in monitoring quality in a range of food industry applications, a programme of research and development has been on-going within Teagasc and its predecessor An Foras Talúntais.
    • Near Infrared Spectroscopy in the Food Industry: A Tool of Quality Management.

      Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 01/03/1999)
      Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is a rapid, non-destructive analytical technique which has been used in the food and agriculture industries for almost 20 years. Ireland was one of the first countries in the world to adopt this method for national trading purposes and the grain trade has used it for off-farm and in-process analysis since 1981. However, other sectors have been slower to realise its potential and as part of a process of demonstrating the role which it may play in monitoring quality in a range of food industry applications, a programme of research and development has been on-going within Teagasc and its predecessor An Foras Talúntais. NIR spectroscopy provides the food processor with information. This information may describe how much of a given substance is present in a mixture or how the overall quality of the substance compares to a reference material e.g. a previous batch of raw material, finished goods or a competitor’s product. This report provides some examples of precompetitive R&D on representative qualitative and quantitative problems in a range of foods and food ingredients. The use of NIR spectra collected within 24 hours of slaughter to predict beef tenderness 14 days later shows considerable promise. Non-destructive monitoring of flesh composition in farmed salmon has paved the way for the efficient use of expensive feed materials while the content of each species in binary mixtures of minced beef and lamb has been accurate enough to suggest the use of NIR spectroscopy as a rapid screening tool by regulatory agencies, food processors and retailers. Classification of a range of food ingredients (including skim milk powder and flour) into one of a number of functionally-discrete categories has been successfully achieved with levels of accuracy high enough to warrant immediate industry utilisation i.e. greater than 90% for skim milk powders and 97% in the case of flour. Species confirmation in a number of raw minced meats (chicken, turkey, pork, beef and lamb) has been achieved with over 90% accuracy in feasibility studies. Calibrations transferred from one NIR instrument to another lose accuracy because of differences in instrument construction, sample presentation and other factors. A research effort has recently been applied to this problem of transferability and results are available for both scanning and fixed filter instruments. The success achieved opens the way for using NIR results obtained in different companies or countries as an uncontested basis for trade.
    • New technologies in the manufacture of low fat meat products

      Allen, Paul; Dreeling, Niamh; Desmond, Eoin; Hughes, Eimear; Mullen, Anne Maria; Troy, Declan J. (Teagasc, 1999-02)
      The objective of this project was to provide a sound scientific basis for the development of low fat meat products. The emphasis was placed on identifying the barriers to producing high quality, low fat meat products and providing a knowledge base for manufacturers to overcome these, rather than actually developing new products. Each partner had specific tasks and worked with traditional products of their country. A wide range of products was thereby studied including comminuted, emulsion, cured and dried fermented, so that the results are widely applicable.
    • New Weapons to Fight Old Enemies: Novel Strategies for the (Bio)control of Bacterial Biofilms in the Food Industry

      Coughlan, Laura M.; Cotter, Paul D.; Hill, Colin; Alvarez-Ordonez, Avelino; Science Foundation Ireland; 13/SIRG/2157 (Frontiers, 18/10/2016)
      Biofilms are microbial communities characterized by their adhesion to solid surfaces and the production of a matrix of exopolymeric substances, consisting of polysaccharides, proteins, DNA and lipids, which surround the microorganisms lending structural integrity and a unique biochemical profile to the biofilm. Biofilm formation enhances the ability of the producer/s to persist in a given environment. Pathogenic and spoilage bacterial species capable of forming biofilms are a significant problem for the healthcare and food industries, as their biofilm-forming ability protects them from common cleaning processes and allows them to remain in the environment post-sanitation. In the food industry, persistent bacteria colonize the inside of mixing tanks, vats and tubing, compromising food safety and quality. Strategies to overcome bacterial persistence through inhibition of biofilm formation or removal of mature biofilms are therefore necessary. Current biofilm control strategies employed in the food industry (cleaning and disinfection, material selection and surface preconditioning, plasma treatment, ultrasonication, etc.), although effective to a certain point, fall short of biofilm control. Efforts have been explored, mainly with a view to their application in pharmaceutical and healthcare settings, which focus on targeting molecular determinants regulating biofilm formation. Their application to the food industry would greatly aid efforts to eradicate undesirable bacteria from food processing environments and, ultimately, from food products. These approaches, in contrast to bactericidal approaches, exert less selective pressure which in turn would reduce the likelihood of resistance development. A particularly interesting strategy targets quorum sensing systems, which regulate gene expression in response to fluctuations in cell-population density governing essential cellular processes including biofilm formation. This review article discusses the problems associated with bacterial biofilms in the food industry and summarizes the recent strategies explored to inhibit biofilm formation, with special focus on those targeting quorum sensing.
    • A note on challenge trials to determine the growth of Listeria monocytogenes on mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)

      Leong, Dara; Alvarez-Ordonez, Avelino; Jordan, Kieran; Safefood (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 30/12/2015)
      In the EU, food is considered safe with regard to Listeria monocytogenes if the number of micro-organisms does not exceed 100 colony forming units (cfu)/g throughout its shelf-life. Therefore, it is important to determine if a food supports growth of L. monocytogenes. Guidelines for conducting challenge tests for growth assessment of L. monocytogenes on foods were published by the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) in 2014. The aim of this study was to use these guidelines to determine if refrigerated, fresh, whole, closed-cap, prepackaged mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) support the growth of L. monocytogenes. Three batches of mushrooms were artificially inoculated at approximately 100 cfu/g with a three-strain mix of L. monocytogenes and incubated for 2 days at 8°C followed by 4 days at 12°C. L. monocytogenes numbers were determined (in triplicate for each batch) on days 0, 2 and 6. Water activity, pH and total bacterial counts were also determined. There was no increase in the number of L. monocytogenes above the threshold of 0.5 log cfu/g in any of the replicates. In 8 of 9 replicates, the numbers decreased indicating that A. bisporus do not support the growth of L. monocytogenes. As the EU regulations allow < 100 cfu/g if the food cannot support growth of L. monocytogenes, the significance of this study is that mushrooms with < 100 cfu/g may be within the regulations and therefore, quantitative rather than qualitative determination may be required.
    • A note on muscle composition and colour of Holstein-Friesian, Piedmontese × Holstein-Friesian and Romagnola × Holstein-Friesian steers.

      Keane, Michael G.; Allen, Paul (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2009)
      Holstein-Friesian (HF), Piedmontese × Holstein-Friesian (PM) and Romagnola × Holstein-Friesian (RO) steers were compared for muscle composition and colour. A total of 120 steers in a 3 breed types (HF, PM and RO) × 2 feeding levels (low and high) × 2 finishing periods (short, S and extended, E) factorial experiment were used. Three samples of m. longissimus were taken for chemical analysis, measurement of drip loss and Hunterlab colour measurements. Muscle moisture and protein concentrations were lower, and lipid concentration was higher for HF than for PM and RO, which were similar. There were no effects of feeding level on chemical composition, but after blooming all colour values except hue were lower for the higher feeding level. The E finishing period reduced moisture, protein, drip-loss, L (lightness), a (redness) and chroma values. It is concluded that PM and RO had similar muscle composition but HF had a higher lipid concentration. Feeding level had few effects on muscle composition, but extended finishing increased all measures of fatness and reduced colour values.
    • Novel “gel demineralizing” method for protein recovery from fat rendering waste stream based on its gelling properties

      Álvarez García, Carlos; Drummond, Liana; Mullen, Anne Maria (Elsevier, 2018-11)
      Fat rendering is a common process in the meat industry, whereby fatty or oily materials are melted away or cooked from the solid portion of the animal tissue. Once the fat, and more solid protein in the form of greaves, has been removed a co-product called glue water or stick water is produced which in generally considered a waste product. This study was established to investigate ways to revalorise this product and reduce the economic and environmental impact of this waste material. Proximate characterisation shows it contains 1.1–1.3% w/w of protein along with similar concentration of ashes (1.3% w/w). While low in protein this is a key pollutant if the product is disposed of, and could also represent an interesting protein source for downstream applications. In order to recover these proteins the salt has to be removed. Therefore, after the techno-functional properties of the raw material and of the recovered proteins were evaluated, especially those related to gelling formation, a new demineralizing method based on the excellent gelling properties of these proteins was developed and results compared with those obtained from three different ultrafiltration membranes (10, 3 and 1 kDa MWCO). Protein recovery was greater for the new method (79–90%) (50–77%); however, the amount of salt removed was higher when ultrafiltration was employed (90% compared to 81%).
    • Observations on the water distribution and extractable sugar content in carrot slices after pulsed electric field treatment

      Aguilo-Aguayo, Ingrid; Downey, Gerard; Keenan, Derek F.; Lyng, James G.; Brunton, Nigel; Rai, Dilip K.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Generalitat of Catalonia; Lifelong Learning Programme; FIRM 06/TNI/AFRC6; et al. (Elsevier, 13/06/2014)
      The impact of pulsed electric field (PEF) processing conditions on the distribution of water in carrot tissue and extractability of soluble sugars from carrot slices was studied. Time domain NMR relaxometry was used to investigate the water proton mobility in PEF-treated carrot samples. Three distinct transverse relaxation peaks were observed in untreated carrots. After PEF treatment only two slightly-overlapping peaks were found; these were attributed to water present in the cytoplasm and vacuole of carrot xylem and phloem tissues. This post-treatment observation indicated an increase in water permeability of tissues and/or a loss of integrity in the tonoplast. In general, the stronger the electric field applied, the lower the area representing transverse relaxation (T2) values irrespective of treatment duration. Moreover an increase in sucrose, β- and α-glucose and fructose concentrations of carrot slice extracts after PEF treatment suggested increases in both cell wall and vacuole permeability as a result of exposure to pulsed electric fields.
    • Opportunities and perspectives for utilisation of co-products in the meat industry

      Lynch, Sarah A.; Mullen, Anne Maria; O'Neill, Eileen; Drummond, Liana; Álvarez García, Carlos; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11/F/043 (Elsevier, 2018-06-19)
      Meat co-products are the non-meat components arising from meat processing/fabrication and are generated in large quantities on a daily basis. Co-products are considered as low added-value products, and in general it is difficult for industries to divert efforts into increasing their value. While many of these products can be edible those not used for human consumption or pet food is usually processed to be used as animal feed, fertilizer or fuel. However, to a large extent meat co-products are an excellent source of high nutritive value protein, minerals and vitamins and hence may be better diverted to contribute to alleviate the increasing global demand for protein. In this review the current uses, legislation and potential techniques for meat co-products processing are reviewed with the aim of showing a route to improve meat industry sustainability, profitability and better usage of available resources.
    • Optimisation of plant protein and transglutaminase content in novel beef restructured steaks for older adults by central composite design

      Baugreet, Sephora; Kerry, Joseph P.; Brodkorb, Andre; Gomez, Carolina; Auty, Mark; Allen, Paul; Hamill, Ruth; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; 11/F/045 (Elsevier, 2018-03-29)
      With the goal of optimising a protein-enriched restructured beef steak targeted at the nutritional and chemosensory requirements of older adults, technological performance of thirty formulations, containing plant-based ingredients, pea protein isolate (PPI), rice protein (RP) and lentil flour (LF) with transglutaminase (TG) to enhance binding of meat pieces, were analysed. Maximal protein content of 28% in cooked product was achieved with PPI, RP and LF. Binding strength was primarily affected by TG, while textural parameters were improved with LF inclusion. Optimal formulation (F) to obtain a protein-enriched steak with lowest hardness values was achieved with TG (2%), PPI (8%), RP (9.35%) and LF (4%). F, F1S (optimal formulation 1 with added seasoning) and control restructured products (not containing plant proteins or seasonings) were scored by 120 consumers' aged over-65 years. Controls were most preferred (P < .05), while F1S were least liked by the older consumers. Consumer testing suggests further refinement and optimisation of restructured products with plant proteins should be undertaken.
    • Optimisation of plant protein and transglutaminase content in novel beef restructured steaks for older adults by central composite design

      Baugreet, Sephora; Kerry, Joesph; Brodkorb, Andre; Gomez, Carolina; Auty, Mark; Allen, Paul; Hamill, Ruth; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11/F/045 (Elsevier, 2018-03-29)
      With the goal of optimising a protein-enriched restructured beef steak targeted at the nutritional and chemosensory requirements of older adults, technological performance of thirty formulations, containing plant-based ingredients, pea protein isolate (PPI), rice protein (RP) and lentil flour (LF) with transglutaminase (TG) to enhance binding of meat pieces, were analysed. Maximal protein content of 28% in cooked product was achieved with PPI, RP and LF. Binding strength was primarily affected by TG, while textural parameters were improved with LF inclusion. Optimal formulation (F) to obtain a protein-enriched steak with lowest hardness values was achieved with TG (2%), PPI (8%), RP (9.35%) and LF (4%). F, F1S (optimal formulation 1 with added seasoning) and control restructured products (not containing plant proteins or seasonings) were scored by 120 consumers' aged over-65 years. Controls were most preferred (P < .05), while F1S were least liked by the older consumers. Consumer testing suggests further refinement and optimisation of restructured products with plant proteins should be undertaken.
    • Optimised protein recovery from mackerel whole fish by using sequential acid/alkaline isoelectric solubilization precipitation (ISP) extraction assisted by ultrasound

      Álvarez García, Carlos; Lélu, Pauline; Lynch, Sarah A.; Tiwari, Brijesh K; National Development Plan 2007–2013; MFFRI/07/01 (Elsevier, 2017-10-04)
      The growing fishery industry needs to find new green-processes in order to provide a solution to the huge amount of wastes and by-products that such industrial activity produces. Currently, around a 40% of the total weight of the mackerel is considered a by-product, because just the fillets are used in the food market. ISP method has been revealed as a useful tool for protein recovering, however the yield of this process is traditionally lower than enzymatic methods. In present work, the use of sequential acid/alkaline extraction and alkaline extraction assisted by ultrasound, have been implemented in order to increase the yield of the process. It has been demonstrated that (i) sequential extraction is able to recover practically 100% of total protein, and (ii) applying ultrasound to alkaline extraction is possible to recover more than 95% of total protein from mackerel by-products. Extracted proteins were characterized according to their size, and the amino acid profile of final product was determined.
    • Optimising the acceptability of reduced-salt ham with flavourings using a mixture design

      Delgado-Pando, Gonzalo; Allen, Paul; Kerry, Joseph P.; O'Sullivan, Maurice; Hamill, Ruth; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 11F 026 (Elsevier, 2019-05-13)
      The objective of this study was to optimise the acceptability of reduced-salt cooked ham containing a mixture of glycine and yeast extract as flavourings by using response surface methodology. Twelve different formulations were prepared with varying levels of salt and the two flavourings, according to a mixture design. The sensory properties were assessed along with the instrumental texture and colour. A multiple factor analysis showed that higher scores in tenderness, saltiness and juiciness were positively correlated, whereas instrumental hardness and chewiness were negatively correlated with acceptability. Response surface plots and optimisation software allowed the inference of two optimised formulations: HO1 with 1.3% salt and yeast extract content of 0.33%; and HO2 with 1.27% salt, 0.2% yeast extract and 0.16% glycine. A panel of 100 consumers found no significant differences in overall acceptability when both were compared to a control (1.63% salt). These results show it is possible to manufacture consumer accepted cooked ham with up to 20% salt reduction.