ENERGY AND NUTRITIONUNCOVERED
The energy content of charcuterie meats varies widely:
- 100g premium cooked ham provides around 118 kcal; chipolatas provide 246 kcal while salami provides more than 400 kcal.
- These quantities are only meant as a guide and much depends on portion size, which is a more realistic approach to the way we eat. Looking at it this way, a 40g portion of rillettes provides 168 kcal.
- Don’t forget that these are not ‘empty calories’. Charcuteries are foods with high nutritional value and are rich in essential nutrients.
Energy value (kcal) per portion
|Pork rillettes (100% pork) (40g)||168|
|Country-style paté (Paté de campagne) (40g)||123|
|1 Strasbourg sausage (Saucisse de Strasbourg) (35g)||101|
|5 slices dry-cured sausage (saucisson sec) (30g)||125|
|1 slice dry-cured ham rind and fat removed (jambon sec) (30g)||57|
|1 slice premium cooked ham (jambon cuit) (45g)||58|
Source : Ciqual 2016
Good to know
- Quantity is as important as quality.
- The daily reference intake value (RI) for energy, which replaces the former ‘guideline daily amount’ (GDA) on food labels, is 2000 kcal (Source CIAA, Confederation of EU agrifood industries).
Content varies between 5-40g/100g for charcuterie
Unlike in ruminants, the fat mass in a pig is deposited around the lean mass. From a practical perspective, this explains why the fat is often visible and can be easily removed.
Fat levels in pork have fallen by around 25% in the last 30 years
This reflects key changes in pig production, including new breeds, changes in diet (notably higher grain content) and also modified recipes and processing methods.
Charcuterie products can be divided into 4 categories according to fat content (%):
- >10%: cooked ham, dry-cured ham (rind removed), tripe
- 10-20%: dry-cured ham, andouilles
- 20-30%: lardons, terrines de campagne, andouillettes, boudins, sausages
- 30-40% : mousses and pates, dry-cured sausage, chorizo and rillettes
Fat content (g) per portion
Pork rillettes (100% pork) (40g)
|Country-style paté (Paté de campagne) (40g)||10.2|
|1 Strasbourg sausage (Saucisse de Strasbourg) (35g)||10.3|
|5 slices dry-cured sausage (saucisson sec) (30g)||9|
|1 slice dry-cured ham rind and fat removed (jambon sec) (30g)||2.8|
|1 slice premium cooked ham (jambon cuit) (45g)||2.1|
Source : Ciqual 2016
**source OQALI 2009
Did you know ?
Lowering fat levels in charcuterie is one of the key objectives set out in the charter signed by meat processors as part of the French National Nutrition and Health Programme (PNNS) in November 2010. Charcuterie processors committed to reducing the average fat content by 5%, by setting maximum levels for the 9 most consumed categories of products: premium cooked ham, dry-cured ham, lardons, country pâtés, liver pâtés & mousses, pork rillettes, smooth-paste sausages, premium dry-cured sausages and pure pork dry-cured sausages.
To this end, in 2015, charcuterie makers signed a new collective agreement aiming to extend this 5% reduction to 12 additional categories not included in the PNNS charter.
- There is no such thing in absolute terms as good or bad fat; it’s about quantity and a balanced diet.
- Fats should account for 35-40% of our total daily intake (French Food Safety Association AFSSA, 31 May 2010).
- The daily reference intake (RI) for fat on food labels is 70g (Source: CIAA).
Overall, 50% of charcuterie eaten in France contains less than 20% fat. Charcuterie accounts for 7% of our daily fat intake. It is the 4th most important source of fat in adults, (5th for children), after oils, cheese and butter.
Charcuterie is a good source of protein from a quantitative and qualitative perspective.
- 100g charcuterie contains between 10-26g of protein
- Given the importance of a varied diet, there are plenty of alternative sources of protein like meat (red meats, poultry), fish (at least twice a week) and eggs.
- The protein content in charcuterie are of high quality: good biological value (close to the reference protein), easily digestible (94%) just like fish.
Protein content (g) per portion
|1 slice dry-cured ham rind and fat removed (jambon sec) (30g)||7,9|
|1 slice premium cooked ham (jambon cuit) (45g)||9.6|
|5 slices dry-cured sausage (saucisson sec) (30g)||7,2|
|Country-style paté (Paté de campagne) (40g)||5,8|
|Pork rillettes (100% pork) (40g)||5,7|
|1 Strasbourg sausage (Saucisse de Strasbourg) (35g)||4.3|
Source : Ciqual 2016
Good to know
- The daily reference intake value (RI) for protein on food labels, is 50g (Source CIAA).
- Proteins must account for 11-15% of our total calorie intake.
- Ideally, it is important to get the right balance of both animal and plant protein sources, which complement each other. Combining charcuterie with grains or pulses will improve the nutritional value of proteins consumed during a meal.
Charcuterie products can be divided into 3 categories according to protein content (%):
- 20%: cooked and dry-cured ham, dry-cured sausage, dried sausages, lardons
- 15-20%: brawn, andouilles, Morteau and Toulouse sausages, tripes à la mode de Caen
- 10-15%: pates and terrines, sausages, boudins, cooked sausage, rillettes, Strasbourg sausage and hot dogs.
Protein content varies widely for 100g and these figures should be adapted to usual portion sizes.
During the charcuterie production process, salt plays a key role for three reasons:
- Firstly it is a preserving agent: it slows down the development of bacteria which could spoil the meat and cause illness. This explains why the length of time a charcuterie meat can be stored varies from several days for cooked ham and several months for a dry-cured ham.
- Salt also has technical properties; it acts essentially to bind ingredients. For example, in the production of dry-cured sausage, the different meats are chopped and then salted, which allows the meats to combine.
- Finally, its organoleptic properties: salt plays a key role in determining the appearance and flavour of charcuterie, as it imparts even colour, soft, succulent texture and helps reveal all the flavours
During the 60s and 70s, as refrigeration techniques evolved, less salt could be used in charcuterie, with a more delicate flavour, without impacting upon the storage time. The quantity of salt used to produce dry-cured ham has fallen by 30%.
During the 2000s, , research indicated that eating too much salt could seriously affect your health (notably by increasing hypertension). As a result charcuterie producers have reduced the salt content in their products by 10-15%, and also committed to reduce levels by a further 5% within the framework of the PNNSS.
Nowadays, even if salt content in charcuterie remains relatively high, it only accounts for 10% of our total salt consumption on average. The skill of charcuterie makers now focuses on optimising the amount of salt required to guarantee the taste and safety of these foods, and making them suitable as part of a balanced, healthy diet.
1g salt = 0.4g sodium
The daily reference intake (RI) for sodium on food labels is no more than 2.4g, or 6g of salt, which is around a teaspoon.
According to the French Food Safety Association (AFSSA) and The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), adults should limit daily salt intake to no more than 6-8g.
Between 1999 (the first Individual and national study on food consumption – INCA study) and 2007, the daily salt intake of an adult in France (18-79 years), fell by 5.2% on average, from 8.1g to 7.7g (INCA2).
When it comes to nutrition, some meals and food combinations are as great-tasting as they are sensible, as they pair charcuterie with foods with low salt content, such as melon and ham, charcuterie and potatoes, sausages and lentils or beans, or black pudding and stewed apple.
Sodium chloride content (g) per portion
|1 slice dry-cured ham rind and fat removed (jambon sec) (30g)||1,6|
|5 slices dry-cured sausage (saucisson sec) (30g)||1,4|
|1 slice premium cooked ham (jambon cuit) (45g)||0,7|
|Country-style paté (Paté de campagne) (40g)||0,76|
|1 Strasbourg sausage (Saucisse de Strasbourg) (35g)||0,7|
|Pork rillettes (100% pork) (40g)||0,5|
Source : Ciqual 2016
VITAMINS AND MINERALSUNCOVERED
Vitamins and minerals are found naturally in charcuterie:
- Vitamins B1, B3, B6 and B12.
- Iron, zinc and selenium.
Content will vary according to portion size and recipes.
Black pudding is by far the greatest source of iron in foods.
Iron content (mg) per portion
|1 pan-fried black pudding (125g)||28.50|
|Country-style paté (Paté de campagne) (40g)||2.20|
|Liver Mousse (40g)||1.76|
|1 hot dog (Saucisse de Francfort) (35g)||0.3|
|1 pan-fried tripe sausage (andouillette) (125g)||2.8|
|1 slice premium cooked ham (jambon cuit) (45g)||0.2|
|Pork rillettes (100% pork) (40g)||0.4|
|5 slices dry-cured sausage (saucisson sec) (30g)||0.3|
Source : Ciqual 2016
The recommended daily dietary allowance (Source: Commission Directive 2008/100/EC)
– Iron : 14 mg / j.
– Zinc : 10 mg / j.
• 11.5% of women aged 30-54 years and 71% of 18-29 year olds have low iron reserves (Source: v ENNS study, 2006).
• Iron from animal-based protein (heme iron) is two and a half times more easily absorbed than iron from vegetables.
• Zinc is important for cell renewal, healing and for boosting immunity.
• Selenium plays an important role in inhibiting the formation of free radicals and more generally in the body’s defence system.