The sector of salami and cold cuts is undoubtedly linked to Italian and Mediterranean food tradition. However, its continuing success depends on the ability of enterprises to innovate both product and conservation processes. Tradition is the name for the sum of the innovations that have been successful. As for products, although traditional recipes are preserved and in respect of the basic technological process concerning salami and cold cuts (conservation by means of salt), the analyses carried out in 2011 show - compared to previous data dating back to 1993 - a decrease of fat in general and optimization of the compositional quality (less saturated fat and more unsaturated fats). Moreover, the salt content in Italian salami results to have been greatly reduced, in a percentage ranging from about 4% up to over 45%, depending on the product. Research in this field continues, trying different salt substitutes that allow preservation of both products and their organoleptic properties without introducing sodium.
Italian salami and cold cuts have been the subject of nutritional evolution. The nutritional content of protein and fat of course varies depending on the types of salami and cold cuts. As for micronutrients, contents of vitamins, especially B group, and such minerals as iron, zinc, and sodium are relevant. Innovation in feeding and breeding systems of pigs allowed obtaining a raw material with high concentrations of minerals and vitamins and a progressively lower fat content.
The food safety system
In Italy the system in the domain of food safety concerning animal productions is constituted by 5,000 veterinarians in charge of monitoring to ensure food security of our productions. As for the chain concerning pork-based products, official veterinary checks begin on farms, where periodic checks of the health conditions of pigs are carried out. In addition, the legislation provides mandatorily for the constant presence of a veterinarian in the slaughter facilities; otherwise the slaughter of pigs is not allowed. In this stage, each animal is carefully examined and the obtained meat must in turn be specifically controlled.