How do we make Ganda Ham?

The production of Ganda Ham is based on artisan tradition.

Ganda Ham is dried and matured naturally for a minimum of 10 to 16 months, with pork, sea salt, and time being the only ingredients. No colourings, preservatives or additives: the flavour, colour and aroma of Ganda Ham are the result of a long enzymatic maturing process. Ganda Ham is also completely free of any residual antibiotics. Ganda Ham is rich in biologically valuable proteins and also contains little fat, most of which consists of unsaturated fatty acids. 

Do you want to know more about the ingredients? 

Have a look into our production facility.

Entry inspection

All fresh hams (exclusively from pigs raised in Belgium and slaughtered in Belgian slaughterhouses) are received in the “fresh meat reception” room. Every ham is checked thoroughly by experienced employees. Any hams that fail to meet our standards are returned to the supplier. After the inspection, the hams are placed on hanging carts and weighed.


To ensure that every ham reaches the same core temperature, the fresh hams are acclimatised for two to three days in the “fresh-meat” refrigerator.  The temperature is monitored continuously.

First salting

The hams are salted exclusively with dry sea salt. They are then processed by following machines:

  • blood press: this presses the remaining blood out of the veins
  • pre-salting machine: this rubs salt into the rind (i.e. the skin of the ham)
  • salting machine: this machine spreads salt over the ham (= dry-salting)
  • conveyor belt: the hams are given additional salting on the conveyor belt

After this, the hams are stored in one of the three salting refrigerators.

Second salting

One week later the hams are salted again (same method as for the first salting). After this, the hams are stacked on carts and taken to the salting refrigerators. In order to conserve the natural juices, the hams are not laid on top of each other, but next to each other instead. Before being salted a second time, the hams are first thoroughly cleaned in the de-salting machine. This machine blows away the remaining salt from the first salting. The hams then pass through a massaging machine, to make the meat supple again (butchers used to get the same result by “rolling” the ham).

After the second salting the hams stay for a few more weeks in the salting refrigerator at about 4°C. The entire salting process (1st and 2nd salting) is permanently supervised by experienced specialists.

De-salting, maturing and rinsing

At the end of the salting process the hams are cleaned of the remaining salt and they are suspended in frames. After the de-salting comes a long maturing period, lasting eight weeks. The de-salted hams are dried in refrigerated maturation lockers. The progress of the maturation process is checked every day. Salt crystals form on the outside of the ham during maturation. These crystals are rinsed off in the washing machine (the “washroom”) once the ham is fully mature.


After this, the hams are dried further in the “drying lockers”. It is in these heated rooms that the hams develop their characteristic aroma and special taste (at around 18°C). This is the result of a slow, natural enzymatic process.


While they are drying the hams are coated with a thin layer of lard (= larding) to prevent the forming of a crust. After the larding, the hams continue to dry in the drying locker for at least another 9 months. The quality of the hams is monitored continuously throughout the drying process. Among other, this is done by means of pricking (=checking the internal smell of the ham by means of a sharp pin made of porous horse bone).  

Rinsing and boning

After 10 months, the hams are rinsed again to remove the thin coating of lard. The hams are now ready to be sold, either with or without the bone. The hams are de-boned in the “boning room”. Here the bone is removed, the ham is cleaned (to remove all secondary flavours, e.g. due to remaining lard), sewn up again, pressed into a mould, equipped with the GANDA brand and vacuum-packed.  Every ham is given a thorough quality inspection.  Any hams that fail to satisfy our standards are irrevocably rejected.

Packaging and sending

In the “packaging room” hams are labelled and covered with a net. After this they are weighed and put into containers or cardboard boxes for shipment to wholesalers.

Thanks to its consisted refusal to adopt efficiency-increasing methods, Ganda Hams are one of the most natural and pure products in the food industry.  During the natural maturation period lasting at least 10 months, any hams that show signs of abnormal enzymatic development are removed from the food chain and thus never reach the consumer.