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Corona E.,Polytechnic University of Valencia | Garcia-Perez J.V.,Polytechnic University of Valencia | Gomez Alvarez-Arenas T.E.,UMEDIA Ultrasound for Medical and Industrial Applications Research Group | Watson N.,University of Leeds | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Food Engineering | Year: 2013

In this work, the feasibility of using non-contact ultrasonic techniques (air-coupled and scanning acoustic microscopy, SAM) for characterizing different dry-cured meat products was assessed. Air-coupled ultrasonic measurements were performed on vacuum packaged sliced dry-cured ham, and compared with contact measurements. The average ultrasonic velocity in dry-cured ham was 1846 ± 49 m/s and 1842 ± 42 m/s for air-coupled and contact measurements, respectively. The deviation (1% relative error) between both techniques was related to the influence of the heterogeneous structure and composition of dry-cured ham and the transducer focusing. The SAM was used to characterize dry-cured ham and chorizo samples. B-scan images for dry-cured ham and chorizo showed two dominant reflections from the sample, linked to reflections in the lean and fatty tissues. The results indicate that contact ultrasonic measurements could be replaced by the air-coupled technique, reducing the measuring time and the material handling. On the other hand, SAM technique allows the microscopic characterization of dry-cured meat products. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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