Official data regarding the nutritional composition of Italian deli meats dates back to 1993. In 2010, ASSICA (Italian Meat Manufacturers’ Association) decided to commission new analyses in order to give figures to the scientific community and to consumers regarding the continuous composition evolution of Italian deli meats.
In 2012, the new nutritional values from analyses by INRAN (Italian Research Institute on Food and Nutrition) and SSICA (Italian Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry) were officially presented. The results showed an important ‘nutritional evolution’ of the products, with particularly outstanding results:
- Less fats and more proteins: a further decrease in the lipid content in Italian deli meats and an optimisation of the composition quality, in particular in cooked ones, has been observed. For these products, the saturated fatty acids content has decreased by almost 40% and a better balance between saturated and unsaturated fats has been obtained. The latter passed from 30% to more than 60% of the total fat content. Furthermore, in parallel to the reduction of saturated fats, there has been a decrease in the cholesterol content and an increase in proteins which are a source of less calories than fats;
- Less Salt: The salt content in Italian deli meats has sharply decreased, ranging from a minimum of around 4% to a more than 45% reduction, depending on the product;
- More Vitamins and Mineral salts: Italian deli meats generally include more vitamins and mineral salts necessary for the organism than before.
More information can be found in a booklet produced by ASSICA.