Journal article Open Access
Salami are typical European dry fermented sausages manufactured mainly with pork meats. Water loss is a crucial aspect of industrial ripening process because it is responsible for the lowering of water activity, which determines limitations to successive conservation. This paper describes two parametric numerical models developed to study the moisture diffusion physics, during ripening and storage in package. Mass transfer equations inside the sausage volume were numerically solved using a finite element technique. A first model describes diffusion phenomena occurring inside the salami and the exchange phenomena involving the surface of the product and the industrial environment, while a second one describes also the evaporation and condensation phenomena occurring between the salami surface and the atmosphere inside the packaging. The models were experimentally validated showing a good agreement with observed data. The numerical models allowed to study the water transfer inside of dry fermented sausages with a detail unreachable by any experimental technique. In addition the models could be used to find the best conditions for ripening, packaging and distribution.