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Novel differential measurement of natural and added phosphorus in cooked ham with or without preservatives.



Assessment of the quantity and chemical type of phosphorus (P) content in cooked ham products with or without preservatives using a novel biochemical procedure.


We examined the quantity and types of P in 40 samples of cooked ham, including 20 without and 20 with P-containing preservatives, which were purchased randomly from a grocery store in Italy. Food samples were analyzed for dry matter, nitrogen, fat, and P content. Novel spectrophotometric methods were used to measure total P and 3 different P subtypes, that is, water-soluble (inorganic) P including added preservatives and natural P derived from phospholipids and phosphoproteins, separately.


Compared with hams without preservatives, hams with P-containing preservatives had significantly lower dry matter and protein and fat contents. There was 66% more inorganic P (IP) in ham with preservatives than in samples without preservatives (169 ± 36 vs. 102 ± 16 mg/100 g, P < .001, respectively). There were no significant differences in P contents derived from proteins or lipids. The P-to-protein ratio was higher in ham samples with preservatives than in those without preservatives (16.1 ± 4.0 and 9.8 ± 0.8 mg/g, P < .001). The sum of measured IP and P from phospholipids and phosphoproteins was 91% ± 4% of measured total P (207.1 ± 50.7 vs. 227.2 ± 54.4 mg/100 g), indicating a small portion of unspecified P and/or under measurement.


Novel differential dietary P measurement detects added P-containing preservatives. Cooked ham with preservatives has 66% more measurable IP and 64% higher P-to-protein ratio than ham without preservatives. The contribution of food added with P-containing preservatives to global dietary P burden can negatively influence chronic kidney disease outcome and counteract the efficacy of P-binder medications: this is an important topic that warrants additional investigations.

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