Seasoning and Flavoring Agents
Sweeteners and other flavoring agents are necessary in the production of many cured products due to the harsh flavors of the salt. A number of sweeteners can be used in curing foods, including dextrose, sugar, corn syrup, honey, and maple syrup. Dextrose is seen often in cured meats, as it not only mellows the harshness, but it also increases the moisture content of the cured product while adding less sweetness to the cured meat. The sweeteners also assist in stabilizing the colors in meats and help the fermentation process by giving a nutrient to the bacteria.
Numerous spices and herbs are used in the curing process to assist with the flavor of the final product. The sweet spices regularly used include cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, mace, and cardamom. Other flavoring agents may include dried and fresh chilies, wine, fruit juice, or vinegar.
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