Green Ham

McCrone scientists are often asked to identify foreign materials in food products.

A recent case involved the discovery of green spots on ham. The spots were initially analyzed by the client’s in-house lab, but a conclusive answer was not reached. The green spots could not be dissolved with acids, bases or organic solvents, and, when ashed, the green color still remained.

McCrone was then called in to help identify the contaminant. A portion of the green material was removed from the casing and prepared for elemental analysis by electron microprobe. The presence of chromium and iron indicated that the cause of the green spots was stainless steel corrosion products, which had dripped onto the hams.