Have you ever noticed that whitish layer that covers our saucissons? Do you know what that white powder is that surrounds it? This time we want to explain a bit more about that kind of white powder - visually resembling flour - that covers saucissons.
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Although many people might think it's a type of flour, the truth is that it's a "mold". And this mold is responsible for keeping away other harmful molds that could affect the product.
More specifically, it's a mold produced by bacteria called penicillium nalgiovense, whose purpose is to ward off any harmful bacteria. In other words, its function is to protect the meat. But besides that, it's also said to contribute to the distinctive aroma and flavour of traditionally made cured saucissons.
It also aids in the curing process of the saucissons and prevents spoilage due to the potential action of other types of bacteria.
Many enthusiasts of these cured saucissons tend to eat it and cannot imagine removing it, as it seems to lose its charm. Not only that, many of them also claim that this coating adds a certain nutty flavour that they appreciate with every thin slice they savour on their palate.
What are the natural colors of saucisson?
You may also know that the normal colors of the saucisson casing are not completely white. On the contrary, it is normal for the mold to have a grayish, yellowish, or sometimes slightly green color. When you see that it is completely white or too even, question whether the saucisson has been produced naturally or not.
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But, can it be eaten?
Of course! The bacterium Penicillium nalgiovense has been evaluated and considered safe for use in the production of foods. It also can be removed if desired.
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But not all people use mold to sell saucissons!
Be careful... this white powder is not always "natural mold". For example, when you buy saucissons at the supermarket, the white powder will be a completely different compound. This compound is called "food-grade talc". While this talc is regulated, its safety depends on compliance with established standards.
Additionally, it has a completely different taste. Saucissons that are naturally produced with this mold benefit from the action of the bacteria and its ability to safely and controlledly ferment and age the meat. The mold on the surface of the product helps improve its flavor and texture, as well as prevent the growth of other undesirable microorganisms.
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It's important to emphasize that it's not any type of flour, so people with celiac disease can consume it without any problem.