Academic article

Consumer Perception of Dry-Cured Ham – A Cross-Cultural Study in Italy, Norway and Spain

Hersleth, Margrethe; Næs, Tormod; Guerrero, Luis; Claret, Anna; Recchia, Annamaria; Dinnella, Caterina; Monteleone, Erminio

Publication details

Journal: Journal of sensory studies, vol. 28, p. 450–466–17, 2013

Issue: 6

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 0887-8250
Electronic: 1745-459X

Open Access: none


The main aim of this study was to explore Italian, Norwegian and Spanish consumers’ sensory perception of dry-cured ham. Six samples of dry-cured ham, two Italian, two Norwegian and two Spanish, were profiled by trained panels in the three countries. Consumer samples of 30 respondents in each country elicited sensory descriptors for the six hams and subsequently rated the intensity of individual
descriptors. Perceptual consensus product maps were derived from the Generalized Procrustes Analysis.
Results revealed that all the four sensory modalities are important for the perception of dry-cured ham and demonstrated a relatively large variation in vocabulary
used for sensory description of hams in the three countries. Because of less familiarity with dry-cured ham and a different eating culture, Norwegian consumers
have a relatively limited vocabulary and do not agree well on the concepts for given descriptors. Attributes that were most frequently used across panels and countries were: red color, marbling, ripe/cured flavor and odor, saltiness, sweetness, firmness and tenderness.