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Title:
METHOD FOR THE PREPARATION OF SAUSAGES FROM MEAT, FOR EXAMPLE BEEF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/090016
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Method for preparing cold cuts/salami, such as cooked cold cuts/salami, starting from a piece or cut of meat, comprising the steps of selecting (1) a piece or cut of meat, arranging (2) a treatment mixture or brine, injecting (3), in the selected piece or cut of meat, a predetermined quantity of treatment mixture or brine, executing a churning treatment (5) on the piece or cut of meat, subjecting the piece or cut of meat to cooking (6), reducing (7) the cooking temperature in a manner so as to obtain cold cut/salami that is cooked and cooled, packaging the cooked and cooled cold cut/salami, wherein the step of arranging a treatment mixture or brine comprises arranging at least one derivative from maple, agave, stevia or aloe, and/or maple, agave, stevia or aloe sap or juice, and/or at least one derivative of the sap or from the juice of maple, agave, stevia or aloe, and/or at least one component of the at least one derivative from maple, agave, stevia or aloe comprising malic acid, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin B and/or phenolic components; mixture or brine for the treatment of the meat and use of the mixture or brine for treating the meat.

Inventors:
TOSETTO, Dante (Via Provinciale 12, Campo San Martino, 35010, IT)
Application Number:
IB2016/057165
Publication Date:
June 01, 2017
Filing Date:
November 28, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DITTA FRATELLI TOSETTO - COMMERCIO E LAVORAZIONE CARNI - S.A.S. DI TOSETTO DANTE E C. (Via Provinciale 12, Campo San Martino, 35010, IT)
International Classes:
A23L13/40; A23B4/005; A23B4/023; A23B4/044; A23B4/28; A23L13/60; A23L13/70
Foreign References:
US5714188A1998-02-03
US2054646A1936-09-15
JPH11285346A1999-10-19
CN104996971A2015-10-28
Other References:
ANONYMOUS: "Dry curing", 28 July 2014 (2014-07-28), http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com, pages 1 - 8, XP055349503, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20170224]
ANONYMOUS: "Basic Report 19350, Syrups, corn, light", USDA NATIONAL NUTRIENT DATABASE FOR STANDARD REFERENCE, RELEASE 28, 1 May 2016 (2016-05-01), pages 1 - 2, XP055349854, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20170227]
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FELTRINELLI, Secondo Andrea (Via Ca' di Cozzi 41, Verona, 37124, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1) Method for preparing a sausage, such as cooked sausage, starting from a piece or cut of meat, comprising the steps of:

- selecting (1) a piece or cut of meat,

- arranging (2) a treatment mixture or brine,

- injecting (3), in the selected piece or cut of meat, a predetermined quantity of said treatment mixture or brine,

- executing, on said piece or cut of meat, a churning treatment (5),

- subjecting said piece or cut of meat to cooking (6),

- reducing (7) the cooking temperature in a manner so as to obtain said sausage cooked and cooled,

- packaging said cooked and cooled sausage,

wherein said step of arranging a treatment mixture or brine comprises arranging at least one derivative from maple, agave, stevia and/or aloe, and/or maple, agave, stevia and/or aloe sap or juice, and/or at least one derivative of the sap or from the juice of maple, agave, stevia and/or aloe, and/or at least one component of the at least one derivative from maple, agave, stevia and/or aloe comprising at least one from among malic acid, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin B and/or phenolic components.

2) Method according to claim 1 , wherein said sausage comprises cooked ham or "roast beef prosciutto", "bacon", "flank" or "beef rump prosciutto".

3) Method according to claim 1, wherein said step of selecting a piece or cut of meat comprises selecting a piece or anatomical cut of meat, such as preferably shoulder rump, rump or silverside, flank or any anatomical cut, or selecting an entire piece of meat, possibly comprising a bone and/or wherein said step of selecting a piece or cut of meat comprises selecting beef, such as veal, tender beef, beef, ox and/or the like, and/or pork or white meat, poultry, such as for example chicken and/or turkey, rabbit, game, mutton, venison or horsemeat, etcetera. 4) Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said step of selecting a cut or piece of meat occurs not more than 7 days after the slaughtering of the meat and/or by selecting said piece or cut of meat with a pH comprised between 5.5 and 5.9.

5) Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said step of arranging a treatment mixture or brine comprises arranging at least one further or balancing ingredient, such as at least one from among salt, sea salt, soy protein, yeast extract, sugar, molasses powder, maple sugar or agave sugar or stevia sugar or aloe sugar, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, sodium inosinate and/or guanylate, smoke flavoring, sodium bicarbonate, vegetable oil, flavoring, natural flavoring, water or mixtures or solutions thereof.

6) Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said step of arranging a treatment mixture or brine comprises arranging maple syrup and/or agave syrup, and/or stevia syrup, and/or aloe syrup and, as further or balancing ingredients, sale or sea salt, dextrose, sucrose, sodium ascorbate, sodium nitrite, flavoring and/or natural flavoring or wherein said step of arranging a treatment mixture or brine comprises arranging maple syrup and/or agave syrup, and/or stevia syrup, and/or aloe syrup and, as further or balancing ingredients, sale or sea salt, dextrose, sucrose, sodium ascorbate, flavoring and/or natural flavoring.

7) Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said treatment mixture or brine comprises maple sugar and/or agave sugar and/or stevia sugar and/or aloe sugar, with respect to the overall quantity by weight of the components of the mixture or brine, for a value comprised between 1% and 30% or between 12% and 18%) by weight or between 1% and 15 % by weight with respect to the treatment mixture or brine in liquid form.

8) Method according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising at least one of the following steps:

- immersing (4), for a specific time period, said cut or piece of meat, injected with said treatment mixture or brine, in a bath comprising said treatment mixture or brine, and/or

- smoking (6A) and/or roasting said cut or piece of meat before, after or simultaneously with the cooking step,

- stabilizing (8) said cooked and cooled sausage,

- slicing said cooked and cooled sausage, and/or

- pasteurizing said cooked and cooled sausage.

9) Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said step of arranging said treatment mixture or brine comprises at least one of the following steps:

- forming (2A) a mixture of ingredients,

- drying (2B) said mixture of ingredients,

- diluting said mixture in water in the proportion of 14-15 parts of dry mixture with 86-85 parts of water or 18-22 parts of dry mixture with 82-78 parts of water or 15 to 25 kg of dry mixture over 100 liters of water for the preparation of the treatment mixture or brine, the water being maintained at a temperature comprised between 0°C and - 4°C or between 0°C and 4°C or between 2°C and 4°C, mixing for at least 5-10 minutes.

10) Method according to claim 9, wherein after the dilution step, there is a step of rest for at least 10 minutes before using said treatment mixture or brine.

11) Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said step of injecting the treatment mixture or brine in said cut or piece of meat is carried out in the weight proportion of 30 parts mixture or brine and 70 parts meat or 5-30 parts mixture or brine every 100 parts of meat.

12) Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said step of subjecting said piece or cut of meat to cooking (6) occurs by cooking in oven and/or with steam or dry, wherein said piece or cut of meat is inserted in a mold or container or is tied and/or it occurs in conventional steam cooking cells or cooking tanks filled with water.

13) Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said step of executing a churning treatment (5) on said piece or cut of meat occurs at a temperature comprised between 0°C and -2°C or between 0°C and 5°C or between 2°C and 5°C and/or occurs for a time period of at least 1 hour, or comprised between 10 hours and 24 hours and/or occurs under vacuum.

14) Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said step of reducing the cooking temperature is carried out by placing said cut or piece of meat in an environment maintained at a temperature comprised between -10°C and -15°C for a time comprised between 8 and 12 hours or maintained at a temperature comprised between 2°C and 4°C for a time not less than 48 hours.

15) Sausage, such as cooked sausage, obtained starting from a piece or cut of meat according to any one of the claims 1 to 14.

16) Mixture or brine for the treatment and/or the injection and/or the curing of meat, comprising at least one derivative from maple, agave, stevia and/or aloe, and/or maple, agave, stevia and/or aloe sap or juice, and/or at least one derivative of the sap or from the juice of maple, agave, stevia and/or aloe, and/or at least one component of the at least one derivative from maple, agave, stevia and/or aloe comprising at least one from among malic acid, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin B and/or phenolic components.

17) Mixture or brine according to claim 16, comprising at least one further or balancing ingredient, such as at least one from among salt, sea salt, soy protein, yeast extract, sugar, molasses powder, maple sugar or agave sugar or stevia sugar or aloe sugar, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, sodium inosinate and/or guanylate, smoke flavors, sodium bicarbonate, vegetable oil, flavoring, natural flavoring, water or mixtures or solutions thereof.

18) Mixture or brine according to claim 16 or 17, comprising maple syrup and/or agave syrup, and/or stevia syrup, and/or aloe syrup and, as further or balancing ingredients, sale or sea salt, dextrose, sucrose, sodium ascorbate, sodium nitrite, flavoring and/or natural flavoring or comprising maple syrup and/or agave syrup, and/or stevia syrup, and/or aloe syrup and, as further or balancing ingredients, sale or sea salt, dextrose, sucrose, sodium ascorbate, flavoring and/or natural flavoring.

19) Use of the mixture or brine according to any one of the claims 16 to 18 in a method according to any one of the claims 1 to 14 or for the treatment and/or the injection and/or the curing of meat.

20) Use according to claim 19, for the treatment and/or the injection and/or the curing of beef, veal, tender beef, beef, ox and/or the like, and/or pork or white meat, poultry, such as chicken and/or turkey, rabbit, game, mutton, venison or horsemeat, etcetera.

Description:
"METHOD FOR THE PREPARATION OF SAUSAGES FROM MEAT, FOR

EXAMPLE BEEF" TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention regards a method for preparing a sausage made of beef. In particular, the present invention regards a method for producing a cooked ham or another meat-based cold cut/salami (sausage), for example starting from beef or another type of meat.

The present invention also refers to a product obtained with such method and to the mixture or brine used for the treatment of the meat.

STATE OF THE ART

As is known, cold cuts/salami in general, and in particular the product known commercially as ham or 'prosciutto', are preferably and generally constituted by pork.

Nevertheless, for religious reasons, or for ethical reasons, the consumption of pork is often refused by many communities and ethnic groups.

The use of other types of meat, such as beef, therefore appears to be a valid alternative to pork for preparing a product that has the typical appearance of that obtained by pork and which is able to substitute it, for example, in Muslim communities and not only.

However, the use of beef for the abovementioned aims requires confronting various problems of technological nature deriving from the particular structural and organoleptic characteristics of beef with respect to pork, including the lower tenderness of beef with respect to pork, the different flavor in accordance with the different cattle breeds, as well as in accordance with the age of the animal at which the slaughtering occurs, and the effects deriving from the different type of diet adopted during breeding.

In addition, the current requirements and recommendations in the food field involve and necessitate that increasingly lower quantities of salts and sugars are used and hence are present in foods.

The reduction of such substances is required due to the well-known implications that the same have on human beings.

In addition, an increasingly lower use of preservatives and allergens is also required in food products.

The patent US 2054646 describes a process for curing various types of meat, obtaining a more tender and less elastic product, hence sliceable. The curing occurs by using a curing mixture comprising monosodium glutamate and sodium chloride, more powerful salts for curing such as sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate and/or potassium nitrate, and an edible adhesive preferably in the form of a concentrate with maple or molasses, corn syrup or raw sugar flavor. This curing mixture is applied to meat both in dry form and in the form of a brine. The description of this document makes it clear that it is intended for raw and cured meats.

This patent, being limited to describing a meat curing procedure, does not describe the following steps for obtaining a meat-based food product, such as the steps of injecting, churning and cooking that will be described hereinbelow for the present invention.

The patent application EP 0683986 describes a process for producing (pork) ham which comprises a step in which the pieces of meat are packaged under vacuum and treated, then unwrapped and injected with a brine comprising salts such as nitrite, sodium chloride, in addition to dextrose, phosphates and ascorbate.

The pieces of meat are then remixed and then inserted in molds or in synthetic casings for cooking. The cooking process provided is the classic process termed "Delta T", i.e. with an increase of the cooking temperature as a function of the temperature of the product core.

The patent US 5714188 describes a method for processing the meat comprising a step of inserting a brine (aqueous solution comprising salts as well as phosphates, nitrites and erythorbate), a step of remixing the pieces of meat and finally a step of inserting the pieces in a mold and then cooking.

The patent application EP 2835060 describes a method for producing meat- based products capable of stabilizing the incorporation of oil in the meat. The steps of such method provide for injecting a quantity of brine inside the meat, remixing the pieces of meat with oil and brine and proceeding with the cooking.

Finally, the patent application US 2010/0028506 describes a process for preparing a ham, preferably of turkey (without rest periods due to the curing thereof), which comprises the steps of injecting a brine inside the pieces, carrying out a series of controlled incisions on the meat, massaging the meat and cooking the pieces of meat, after having inserted them in a mold or container.

There is therefore the need to be able to have a method for preparing cold cuts/salami, such as a cooked ham, capable of meeting the aforesaid requirements and simultaneously which allows overcoming the above- lamented drawbacks.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

The main object of the present invention is therefore to improve the state of the art.

The main object proposed by the present invention is therefore that of presenting a method for preparing a sausage (cold cuts/salami) made of meat, such as a cooked ham, which allows obtaining a uniform product in all parts thereof, with tender meat, with constant flavor even with the use of non-pork meats, such as those coming from different breeds of cattle, of different age and bred with different diets.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a method for preparing a sausage (cold cuts/salami) having particular properties generated by the use of the elements, such as the extract of the maple sap and/or components thereof and/or the derivatives of agave or of stevia or of aloe, employed during the preparation thereof. These particular properties are at least the following: high dietary energy with limited calorie supply, antioxidant contribution, diuretic, slimming and/or depurant action for the human body. These and other objects which will be clearer hereinbelow from the following description are attained by the method according to the enclosed claim 1.

Further advantageous or preferred characteristics of the method according to the invention are described in the enclosed dependent claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other characteristics and advantages of the present invention will be clearer from the description of one embodiment of a method, illustrated by way of a non-limiting example in the enclosed drawings, in which:

figure 1 represents a flow diagram of the method according to the present invention.

EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

The present invention refers to a method for preparing a sausage (or cold cuts/salami), starting from a piece of meat.

With the term sausage (or cold cut/salami) it is intended a meat-based food, raw or cooked, and possibly other ingredients.

In a preferred version of such invention, nevertheless, with the term sausage it is intended a cooked meat-based food product.

The sausage according to the present invention is, for example, a cooked ham or a product with a different commercial name, including as a non-limiting example "roast beef prosciutto", "bacon", "flank" or "beef rump prosciutto". Therefore, if not specifically indicated, when reference is made hereinbelow to "cooked ham" it can also be intended a further meat-based and cooked food such as "roast beef prosciutto", "bacon", "flank" or "beef rump prosciutto".

In addition, even if the term "cooked ham" generally refers to cold cut/salami obtained from the thigh of the pig, in the present description, with "cooked ham" it is also intended similar products obtained from meats of different origin - both anatomical and animal - but having characteristics comparable to those of the conventional cooked ham or of the respective conventional products.

The meat that constitutes the sausage according to the present invention is preferably beef, such as veal, tender beef, beef, ox and/or the like.

According to one version of the invention, the meat that constitutes the present invention comprises pork or white meat, poultry, such as chicken and/or turkey, rabbit, game, mutton, venison or horsemeat, etcetera.

In order to obtain a flavor that the consumer recognizes, such as "ham" or "bacon" or another conventional cold cut/salami, the processing of the beef (or of the other "non-conventional" types of meat) has required remedying the problem of acidification of bovine fat - a problem which is not present in the commercial products deriving from pork or from other "conventional" types of animal meat.

Only after having understood this problem and how such acidification physiologically occurred, the Applicant was able to find, after numerous attempts, the way to manage an unstoppable process, succeeding to manage it and use it in order to obtain a product with pleasant taste which recalls the taste of a commercial product usually deriving from meat of another origin. In doing this, and in particular by formulating a specific treatment mixture or brine and selecting specific process steps, the Applicant was able to obtain a "conventional" sausage such as cooked ham or bacon, but deriving from raw material of another type (i.e. meat of another animal origin with respect to those conventionally used for a particular commercial product). The resulting product is obtained with natural ingredients and thus allows nourishing the user, respecting the organism and thus the natural physiological and metabolic processes thereof.

In one version of the invention, the sausage can comprise a mixture of different meats, selected from among those listed herein or among those most used for producing cold cuts/salami.

In addition, in the scope of the present invention, the meat that constitutes the sausage derives from an anatomical cut of meat, such as preferably shoulder rump, rump or silverside, flank or it can comprise any anatomical cut (such as a thigh).

In a further version, the meat that constitutes the sausage derives from an entire piece of meat, possibly comprising a bone.

Therefore, when in the course of the description "piece", "cut", "anatomical piece" or "anatomical cut" are indicated, it is intended that such terms are interchangeable, unless explicitly indicated otherwise.

In one version of the invention, the method according to the present invention does not provide for the use of pork.

The method according to the invention for preparing a sausage starting from meat therefore comprises a step of selecting the meat the constitutes sausage, for example selecting the cut or piece with which it is desired to prepare the sausage.

With reference to the aforesaid figure 1 , reference number 1 indicates the step of the selection of the piece or cut of meat to be subjected to treatment. In one version of the invention, such step comprises selecting a cut or anatomical piece or a cut or piece of meat, for example beef.

According to one version of the method, such meat selection step occurs in a maximum time period of 7 days after the slaughtering.

In addition, the selected meat has a pH preferably comprised between 5.5 and 5.9.

The production cycle, instead, in the case of non-frozen fresh product, cannot occur before 10-15 days after the slaughtering (at least in one version of the invention). This occurs in order to allow the hanging of the meat, which consequently will require a lower load of ingredients for the step of curing and/or extraction of the proteins.

The method according to the present invention also comprises a step of arranging a treatment mixture or brine.

With reference number 2 of figure 1, the step was indicated for preparing the treatment mixture or brine, employed for the injection of the meat and the relative subsequent meat curing process, as will be better described hereinbelow.

In accordance with one version of the invention, the essential ingredient in arranging the treatment mixture or brine is a derivative of maple and/or maple sap or juice, conventionally known as maple syrup, and/or a derivative or an extract from the sap of maple, and/or at least one of its components.

Such components can be preferably present in natural components or even chemically obtained.

The components of the maple sap or of the extract from the maple sap for example comprise malic acid, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamins of the B group, phenols, etcetera.

In a further version of the invention, the essential ingredient in arranging the treatment mixture or brine comprises a derivative from agave, stevia or aloe, and/or at least one derivative of the sap or from the juice of agave, stevia or aloe, and/or at least one component of the at least one derivative from agave, stevia or aloe and/or comprising malic acid, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin B and/or phenolic components.

Such components and/or ingredients and/or extracts and/or derivatives can be separately present in the treatment mixture or brine or they can be present therein in combination with each other.

The treatment mixture or brine can comprise other ingredients, said further or balancing ingredients, which will be described in the course of the description hereinbelow; it activates a process of natural curing of the meat, for example of the beef, after having been placed in contact with and/or inserted in the same. In addition, the treatment mixture or brine, and in particular its components deriving from maple and/or agave, and/or stevia and/or aloe, contribute to supplying - even if with a limited calorie supply with respect to other sugars normally used in treating meats, for example pork - elements such as potassium, vitamins of the B group, phenols, calcium, malic acid, antioxidant substances or substances with diuretic and/or depurative functions or mixtures thereof, hence conferring properties that are beneficial or improved for the human health, with respect to cold cuts/salami of conventional type.

Such organoleptic enrichment or improvement of the sausage also occurs simultaneously with its curing process, therefore overall decreasing the treatment and process times, and obtaining an improved product.

Indeed, it was found that the natural sugars present in the sap of maple (and/or in agave, stevia and/or in aloe) feed and revitalize the bacterial load present in the slaughtered meat, with the consequence that the same bacterial flora, present in the meat, attacks the fibers and collagen of the muscles, with an entirely natural process making the meat tender and uniform in all parts of the piece or selected anatomical piece. In accordance with the invention, the further or balancing ingredients of the mixture or brine can comprise at least one from among salt, e.g. sea salt, soy protein, yeast extract, sugar, molasses powder, maple sugar, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, sodium inosinate and guanylate, smoke flavors, sodium bicarbonate, vegetable oil, flavoring, natural flavoring, water or mixtures and/or solutions thereof.

According to a preferred version, the mixture or brine comprises maple syrup (and/or agave, stevia, aloe syrup) and, as further or balancing ingredients, sale or sea salt, dextrose, sucrose, sodium ascorbate, sodium nitrite, flavoring and/or natural flavoring.

According to a preferred version, the mixture or brine comprises maple syrup (and/or agave, stevia, aloe syrup) and, as further or balancing ingredients, sale or sea salt, dextrose, sucrose, sodium ascorbate, flavoring and/or natural flavoring.

A further element that can characterize the treatment mixture or brine according to at least one version of the present invention is the use of particular salts with particular characteristics and benefits for the consumer.

The types of salt normally used in the brines and in the conventional cold cuts have the function of increasing, as is known, the preservability and hence the shelf life of the product as well as intensifying the attractiveness of the product for the consumer. The latter function has a precise commercial object: increase the consumption of the product (and possibly the linked request of drinks to be drunk after having eaten the conventional cold cut/salami).

An excessive consumption of salts, in any case, has side effects on the cardio- circulatory system of the user, and more generally causes an increase of liquids, with consequent metabolic implications.

For this reason, the present invention proposes the use of a lower quantity of salts with respect to that of conventional cold cuts/salami, and/or employing salts with beneficial properties for the final user.

In one version of the invention, the salt comprised in the treatment mixture or brine is Himalaya salt, which allows an alkalization of the obtained product better than with other salts. Such alkalization, according to some variants, can be preferred since the meat has an opposite effect, i.e. acidifying. With such salt, therefore, an alkaline or neutral product is obtained. Studies on alkalinity of the blood in the human organism show the link between the presence of an alkaline pH thereof and improved health.

The search for ingredients that would allow respecting physiological functions, nourishing without altering such functions, and finding the doses thereof and how to mix them, were part of the technical problems resolved by the present invention in a non-obvious manner, as described in the present discussion.

Salt, or sodium chloride, through the supply of ions, facilitates the solubilization of the meat proteins, which otherwise are difficult to treat or extract. Such process of solubilization of the proteins can then assist the adhesion between different muscular parts, the seal of the slice, etcetera.

Nitrite salts can improve the fixing of the color of the meat over time and simultaneously allow the preservation of the product.

In an alternative version of the present invention, the preservation of the meat can be ensured by the presence, in the treatment mixture or brine, of vegetable extracts (the latter possibly containing nitrites in a natural manner and implicit in their chemical composition). Finally, it is indicated that current laws have prohibited the use of nitrate in cooked products and hence the method according to the present invention excludes the use of nitrate in the steps thereof or in any case its presence in the treatment mixture or brine.

The sugars present in the treatment mixture or brine produce organoleptic effects. For example, dextrose is capable of creating an environment that stimulates the transformation of nitrates, normally present in the meat liquids and/or fibers, into nitrites, with the above-listed benefits in terms of color and preservation.

Regarding the smoke flavoring and/or the smoking, these are elements which improve the preservation of the meat.

According to the present invention, however, the use of smoke flavoring and/or smoking is quite light with respect to conventional techniques.

If a smoking step is present in the present invention, the same is actuated with the use of natural, non-treated woods.

Indeed, one objective of the present invention is to obtain a product that is entirely natural or as natural as possible, which does not alter the normal biochemical and/or metabolic processes of the organism of the user who eats such food. That obtained with the method according to the present invention is in fact a product transformed using natural ingredients and steps, hence much more attentive regarding the health of the final user.

We indicate that the treatment mixture or brine, when applied to meat, is found in liquid form and can comprise water, in addition to that indicated above. The quantity of maple sugar and/or of agave and/or of stevia and/or of aloe, with respect to the overall quantity of the components of the mixture or brine, at least in one version of the present invention is represented by a value comprised between 1% and 30% or between 12% and 18%> by weight or preferably 1% to 15 % by weight of the liquid mixture which forms the treatment mixture or brine.

The method according to the present invention comprises a step 2 of preparing the treatment mixture or brine.

Such step comprises the arranging of an extract from the maple sap (and/or agave, stevia and/or aloe sap), and/or of a derivative of the maple sap or of the maple juice (and/or agave, stevia and/or aloe juice), and/or of at least one of its components, the arranging of at least one further or balancing ingredient, the mixing of the various components of the mixture or brine. Preferably, the preparation of the mixture or brine comprises the formation of the mixture of the ingredients indicated as step 2A in the enclosed figure 1.

Such components or ingredients can be provided in dry form or in fluid form or as a mixture of components in dry form and in fluid form.

When at least one component or ingredient is present in fluid form, the step of preparing the mixture or brine can comprise a step of drying the obtained mixture, indicated as step 2B in the enclosed figure 1, and, possibly, a step relative to the grinding thereof.

In one version of the invention, such grinding step is not present, while the mixture of the components of the brine or treatment mixture, present in dry form, can be dissolved in water in order to obtain the treatment mixture or brine of the present invention.

At the end of the preparation of the mixture of the ingredients, the step 2 can provide that the dilution in water is executed in the proportion of 14-15 or preferably 18-22 parts of dry mixture, possibly - as stated - reduced to fine powder by means of grinding, with 86-85 or with 82-78 parts of water. In a further version, such proportions can be comprised between 14-22 parts of dry mixture and 86-78 parts of water.

In a still further version, the percentage comprises 15 to 25 kg of ingredients or dry mixture over 100 liters of water for the preparation of the treatment mixture or brine.

Preferably, the water is maintained at a temperature comprised between 0°C and -4°C or between 0°C and +4°C or preferably between 2°C and 4°C; all is mixed for at least 5-10 minutes and subsequently maintained at rest for at least 10 minutes before its use.

The method according to the present invention, when an anatomical piece or a piece of meat is used, can provide for a cleaning step, in which the tendons, the skin and/or possible bone parts are eliminated from the piece.

Once the mixture or brine is prepared, the method according to the invention provides for a step of injecting, in the selected anatomical piece of meat, a predetermined quantity of the treatment mixture or brine.

The temperature of the treatment mixture or brine, during such injection step, is comprised between 0°C and 8°C or preferably between 2°C and 6°C or preferably between 3°C and 5°C or preferably between 0°C and 2°C.

The treatment mixture or brine can be injected according to a weight proportion of 30 parts mixture or brine and 70 parts meat, for example beef, or 5 to 30 parts mixture or brine for every 100 parts meat to be injected.

This injection step is indicated in the flow diagram of figure 1 with reference number 3.

The injection of the mixture or brine in the anatomical piece of the meat is carried out by means of a conventional injection machine, for example that sold by METALBUD LTD, named TIPO MHM-39/156, preferably using an injection pressure comprised between 0.9 and 1.1 bar or comprised between 0.5 and 3 bar. Such pressure varies in accordance with the piece of meat, the pH, the advancing speed of the belt of the injection machine, etcetera.

At the end of the step 3 of injection of the mixture or brine, the method according to the present invention, according to an optional version thereof, can provide that the piece of meat be placed in a suitable container, not shown since conventional, on its own or, preferably, together with a plurality of pieces subjected to the same treatment, and subjected to a step indicated with 4 in the flow diagram of figure 1, in which the anatomical piece is maintained completely immersed in the mixture or brine for a specific time period, for example not less than 48 hours. Such step of immersing the anatomical piece in a bath comprising such mixture or brine occurs with the mixture or brine at a temperature between 0°C and -2°C or preferably between 0 and 2°C.

During such step, at least one change of position of the anatomical piece immersed in the mixture or brine may be provided after the first 24 hours, possibly without making it emerge from the brine itself.

The method continues with a step, indicated with 5 in the flow diagram of figure 1, during which the anatomical piece or cut of meat is subjected to an operation of massaging or churning.

Such step occurs, according to one version of the invention, at a temperature comprised between 0°C and -2°C or preferably between 0°C and 5°C or, still more preferably, between 2°C and 5°C.

Such massaging or churning treatment occurs for a time period of at least 1 hour, or preferably comprised between 10 hours and 24 hours as a function of the type and weight of the anatomical piece of meat, with the use of conventional machines termed churning machines.

In one version of the invention, such step of massaging or churning occurs under vacuum.

At the end of the step 5 of massaging or churning, the method according to the present invention comprises a step of subjecting the piece of meat to cooking. Such cooking step can occur by positioning the single cuts or pieces of meat in suitable containers or molds and subsequently positioning them in suitable cooking apparatuses.

Alternatively, the cooking step 6 occurs with the pieces of meat not positioned in suitable containers but as is and/or suitably tied and then positioned in assigned cooking apparatuses.

The cooking step 6 can be cooking in oven and/or with steam, or dry cooking.

For example, the pieces treated with the mixture or brine are introduced in conventional steam cooking cells or cooking tanks filled with water at controlled temperature (such as that specified for ovens).

The cooking step is indicated with the reference number 6 in the flow diagram of figure 1. The cooking step occurs at a temperature of about 70°C-72°C of the cooking apparatus.

The cooking step can occur until a temperature of 68°C-72°C, measured in the more internal part of the piece of meat, is reached.

As can be observed, in at least one version of the invention the cooking step occurs at constant temperature.

Regarding the cooking process, this can occur upon positioning the piece of meat in a mold or even without the mold.

In the latter case, there can be a step of tying the piece of meat. The tying can be carried out with suitable materials, such as cooking twine.

Such tying step can occur by tightening the twine only the amount necessary for conferring, to the piece of meat, the appearance of cold cut/salami such as ham. In such a manner, the muscular fibers of the meat are not stressed (which would occur by pressing the product in the molds) - hence such process is even more respectful of the structural equilibrium of the raw material used. Simultaneously with the cooking step 6, a step 6A can be provided for smoking and/or roasting the product.

In one version of the invention, the step 6A of smoking and/or roasting the product can occur before or after the cooking step 6. In particular, the latter option is particularly possible when the pieces or anatomical pieces are not positioned in suitable molds.

In some versions, the smoking step is substituted by a roasting step. In this case, the bouquet and taste of the final product finale are conferred by the roasting and possibly by the presence of natural flavoring present in the cooking step and/or roasting and/or in the treatment mixture or brine.

The roasting step is also capable of conferring a more attractive external appearance to the resulting product.

The method then proceeds with a step, indicated with 7 in figure 1, in which the reducing of the cooking temperature occurs.

Such step is carried out by positioning the piece of meat in an environment maintained at a temperature comprised between -10°C and -15°C or preferably between 2°C and 4°C for a time respectively comprised between 4 and 12 hours or preferably not less than 48 hours (the latter especially when the temperatures of 2-4°C are used).

The method according to the invention can comprise, at least according to one version, a step of stabilizing the product, indicated with 8 in figure 1, executed by maintaining the anatomical ' piece of meat in an environment with temperature comprised between 0°C and +4°C for a time comprised between 24 and 48 hours. This step might not present when the environment is already maintained - in order to reduce the temperature of the piece - at a temperature comprised between 2°C and 4°C.

Once the product has been obtained, it can be packaged (step 10 of the enclosed figure 1). The packaging can occur under vacuum with the cold cut/salami obtained whole, or upon slicing. The slicing step is indicated with 9 in the flow diagram of figure 1.

The whole and/or packaged product is then pasteurized before being stocked and stored.

If preserved in a cool environment with constant temperature of about 10°C or less than 10°C or comprised between 2°C and 4°C, and with relative humidity rate, it was found that the product, with package intact, has a shelf lifetime of about 4 months without alterations.

The method according to the present invention, therefore, can comprise a step of stabilization of the cooked and cooled piece of meat and/or a step of packaging and/or pasteurization of the same.

Although in the preceding description reference was made to a single anatomical piece of meat, e.g. beef, in order to illustrate the steps of the method and its characteristics, it must be intended that the method can be preferably applied to a plurality of pieces.

Due to the present invention, the obtained cold cut/salami meat has a color that remains stable over time, even after its packaging. It is thus seen that the method according to the present invention is capable of conferring the abovementioned advantages.

It is thus evident that the present invention has met a need currently expressed in the food field and has reached the objectives that were sought in the development the present invention.

Indeed, in the ideation and development of the present invention, the Applicant set its sights on producing a food, similar to conventional cooked ham (pork) or to other conventional cold cuts/salami, but with limited fat supply, also suitable for the Muslim and Jewish population. After carry out numerous tests, the formulation of an innovative production process and innovative recipe for preparing a treatment mixture or brine were also attained.

Such mixture or brine, as indicated above, is to be injected in the anatomical part of meat - red or white - substituting sugar ingredient in part or entirely with a derivative of maple or with maple juice, generated by the processing of the maple extract or alternatively/additionally with a derivative of agave, stevia or aloe.

As can be observed, these are derivatives of plants or vegetables and hence are natural derivatives or extracts.

The above-listed substances, while partly limiting sucrose (and hence the sugars necessary for the meat curing step), supply - with a low calorie level - at least one from among or preferably a mixture or all the following components: malic acid, potassium calcium iron, vitamins of the B group and phenolic components. These components have valid properties against cellular ageing and/or important diuretic and/or depurative actions.

Researches also deem that the plant, for example maple, when it is cut in order to obtain the sap therefrom, reacts by producing phenolic components, as a defense mechanism. Otherwise, there would only be a minimal quantity of the juice per se.

In such a manner, one obtains the double effect of using some components necessary for the curing of the meat and simultaneously achieving cold cut/salami, such as cooked ham, with undoubted nutritional advantages that are beneficial for the organism.

In one version of the invention, moreover, all the process temperatures are maintained between 0°C and 5°C or between 2°C and 4°C so as to ensure that the ingredients do not undergo modifications; hence, the ingredients react in a uniform and natural manner both towards the meat and during the churning step.

In a specific version, such method refers to the production of cold cut/salami, such as cooked ham, preferably of beef or in any case of non-pork meat.

In a specific version, such method refers to the production of cold cut/salami such as bacon, preferably of beef or in any case of non-pork meat.

The present invention also refers to the mixture or brine for the treatment and/or the injection and/or the curing of meat, and to the use of such mixture or brine in a method according to that previously described, or for the treatment and/or the injection and/or the curing of meat.

Such use can be both for meat in which the brine is injected in a cut or piece of meat, and for products which are obtained, for example, from minced meat or from meat in small-size pieces in which the mixture or brine is not injected but rather joined to or placed in contact with the meat in order to confer a particular taste and/or bouquet and/or a specific curing thereto.

In this case, such use could also be appropriate for conferring a specific taste and/or flavor and/or bouquet to pork meat (characteristics mainly given by the maple, by the agave, by the stevia and/or by the aloe contained in the treatment mixture or brine).

According to one version of such use, the meat, even if not injected with the mixture or brine, can in any case be subjected to a step of churning or remixing.

The method as described above is also susceptible of numerous modifications or variants, all however falling within the scope of the invention as claimed hereinbelow.