Roberta Virgili

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Excessive softness is a serious defect of dry cured hams which seems related to high activity of lysosomal cysteine proteinases, such as cathepsin B, in fresh pork muscles a few days after slaughtering. As it has been shown that cathepsin B activity has a moderate heritability in Italian Large White pigs we started a candidate gene approach to identify the(More)
Seven ham manufacturing plants were sampled for 1 year to assess the mycoflora present in the air and on hams, with special attention given to potential mycotoxin producers. Temperature and relative humidity were recorded in the ripening rooms. Maturing rooms held hams from 2 to 3 through 6 to 7 ripening months, and aging rooms held hams for the following 6(More)
To identify DNA markers associated with performance, carcass, and meat production traits including muscle postmortem cathepsin activity, several porcine genes encoding for lysosomal proteinases (cathepsin B, CTSB; cathepsin D, CTSD; cathepsin F, CTSF; cathepsin H, CTSH; cathepsin L, CTSL; and cathepsin Z, CTSZ) and for a cathepsin inhibitor (cystatin B)(More)
The evolution of the yeast population during manufacturing and ripening of dry-cured Parma ham was investigated. Contamination levels ranged from 10(5) to 10(7) cfu/g on muscle surface, 10(4) to 10(6) cfu/g on covering fat and exceeded 10(7) cfu/g on spreadable fat mince ("sugna"). Two hundred and sixty one yeast isolates underwent identification test,(More)
Barrows and gilts (n = 128) from four breed crosses were used to investigate the effect of age at slaughter on carcass traits, proteolytic enzyme activity, and meat and fat quality. Pigs were blocked by breed cross into four blocks, and within blocks, one pen (eight barrows and eight gilts) was assigned randomly to be slaughtered at either 8 or 10 mo of(More)
A fast and sensitive method for the quantification of the mycotoxin ochratoxin A (OTA) in dry-cured meat products has been developed, which does not require a clean-up step, by HPLC with an alkaline mobile phase (pH 9.8). Validation procedures for specificity, trueness, ruggedness, stability, recovery and repeatability were performed. The decision limit (CC(More)
Thirty-eight Italian dry-cured hams were analysed for cathepsin B activity, proximate composition and proteolysis index and results were related to lean tissue texture, as assessed by an expert panel, in order to search for relationships between excessive softness, a major problem in the raw ham industry, and chemical parameters. Softness was found to be(More)
Changes in the aromatic profile of Parma ham caused by the normal course of aging up to 12 months were examined in order to identify distinctive signals for different maturing periods (6, 9, 12 months). The 28 samples analysed, divided among the three periods mentioned above, provided an aromatic profile in which methyl esters were the most relevant(More)
Protocols were developed to apply Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to the dry-curing of Italian Parma ham. NMR relaxation analyses were performed on dry-cured hams at different processing stages to evaluate the ranges of variation of (1)H relaxation times T(1) and T(2) in representative ham muscle tissues, due to dehydration and salt uptake. MRI maps of the(More)