Project goals

The aim of the project is the production of fresh and processed pork products featured by high sensory and nutritional quality while targeting consumers’ health. More specifically, processed pork products (salami, mortadella, cooked ham and ripened culatta) will be added with polyphenol-rich phytochemicals, extracted from vegetal products and by-products (grapes, apples, etc.), with antioxidant and chemoprotective properties at gastrointestinal level. To increase the bioavailability of the bioactive molecules, the charcuterie products will undergo high-pressure treatments. The new products will be tested by toxicological assays on human intestinal cell lines; finally, they will be checked for microbiological safety as well as qualitative and nutritional properties.

The main stages of the project are listed below:

­ Breeding of Italian Large White pigs reared to a weight of 135-140 kg (intermediate size pigs); piglets were distributed into dietary groups, and fed with diets added with extruded linseed as source of omega-3 fatty acids and natural antioxidants (polyphenols from grape skin extracts). The pigs of the different dietary groups were also genotyped  for some loci coding for protein influencing fat traits and  pigs with different genotype were present in each group. .

– Use of plant products and by-products derived from regional fruit and vegetables (grapes, apples, olives, berries, etc.) for the production of phytochemicals rich in polyphenols and vitamins having antioxidant properties, to be used as ingredients in processed pork products.

– Production of salami, culatta, cooked ham and mortadella enriched with extracts from regional vegetal products and by-products.

– Nutritional and sensory evaluation of fresh and processed pork products; toxicological tests on intestinal cell lines of simulated digesta of fresh and processed pork.


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