Tyrosine is one of the 20 amino acids that make up proteins. It is considered a non-essential amino acid because its synthesis occurs naturally in our body from the hydroxylation of another amino acid: phenylalanine, which is an essential amino acid. Yet, why do we talk about this in the Glossary of Enrique Tomás? Because this amino acid can be a symbol of quality in Iberian ham, we’ll explain it to you!
Tyrosine: the white dots of the ham
The truth is that we cannot say that the presence of this amino acid is a sign of quality, but the truth is that tyrosine crystals appear when a curing process has been carried out in an artisan, slow and natural way. Therefore, the tyrosine crystals are those little white dots that we see on the surface of the ham or the slices and that have formed during the dry curing process of the ham. Thanks to the fact that enzymes with proteolytic capacity break down proteins, free peptides and amino acids are obtained.
So, although the presence of tyrosine does not in itself imply quality, it does indicate that the piece has gone through a long period of curing, developing in the best conditions.
Properties of tyrosine
Tyrosine in the human body, as a free amino acid is assigned many properties, among which we highlight:
- Together with iodine acts in the synthesis of thyroxine, a hormone produced by the thyroid.
- Involved in the production of melanin
- Relieves depression by acting on the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine and L-dopa.
- Improves memory
- Neutralizes free radicals
- Helps the synthesis of certain proteins and enzymes
- Actively intervenes in the adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid glands
- Prevents different types of respiratory allergies
- Has an important role in the natural production of adrenaline
- Improves scalp circulation
- Facilitate fat metabolism
Now that you know what it is, don’t be suspicious of those white dots you see in the slices of ham. These are crystals that indicate that the piece from which this product has been taken it ‘s a handmade product, with passion and respecting the appropriate curing and maturing times. Don’t hesitate to try the best Iberian ham at Enrique Tomás, choose your favourite and enjoy a product that has a triple quality selection process behind it.