The objective was to develop and characterize technologically and microbiologically a boneless dry-cured ham containing lactulose as a prebiotic. The dry-cured hams were processed using transglutaminase as the binder and glucono-delta-lactone as the acidifying agent, evaluating one control formulation and another with the addition of 2% lactulose (LAC). Both products obtained complied with the physical, chemical and microbiological standards set by the Brazilian legislation for dry-cured hams. The mass losses during the drying stage were higher (P < 0.05) for the products containing added lactulose than for the control. No significant differences were found (P > 0.05) between treatments for the evaluated parameters during processing, with the moisture content, water activity (aw) and residual nitrite reducing ( P< 0.05), and the acidity, lactic acid bacteria and TBARS values increasing (P < 0.05) during the ripening stage. The finished products showed pH (5.55 ± 0.37) and aw (0.90 ± 0.01) values consistent with dried cured products, with no differences (P > 0.05) between treatments for the proximate composition and colour of the products. The lactulose content of the LAC product was 1.44 ± 0.37%, indicating the feasibility of using this prebiotic in the preparation of boneless dry-cured hams in order to obtain products with a functional property claim.
Prebiotic; Dry-cured product; Ripening; Colour