Drying and ripening of the ham
Drying of the prosciutto-ham is carried out in clean rooms only, exposed to dominant winds (draught). The air flow speed can be adjusted by opening and closing of the opposite windows, and it is desirable that the air flows at the speed of 10 cm/sec.
By the end of April when prosciutto-hams have lost up to 25 % of their initial weight, they are transfered to the chambers with monitored microclimate or to cellars with stable temperature and air humidity. The area must be protected from the inflow of various moths and other insects (window nets), and the optimum air temperature should be l3 - l5 degrees Celsius with the relative humidity level 65 -70 %.
In these chambers the ripening process of prosciutto-ham lasts for about l2 - l8 months with a completely gentle air rotation. The above stated microclimate conditions contribute to an appropriate ripening process with a gradual moisture loss. The appropriate air humidity level of the room where the prosciutto-ham is left to ripen is crucial in order to prevent growth of undesirable microorganisms leaving toxic residues and unpleasant smell.