Is Pancetta Healthy?

The Pancetta is an Italian variety of cured meat that is popular around the world.

Pancetta is healthy. It is a popular cured meat that is made from pork, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then air-dried or smoked. 

Pancetta is usually eaten as part of a pasta sauce or on sandwiches, but it can also be added to soups, stews, and salads.

Let’s check more details about pancetta.


Pork belly is used to make Pancetta, a type of cured meat. While bacon has an appearance similar to pancetta, the two are very different.

Bacon is cured in salt and smoked, but never dried, and it is still raw meat that always needs to be cooked.

Some types of pancetta need to be cooked in the same way as bacon, but other types are salt-cured and completely dried.

They can be eaten raw for this reason.

There are many different types of pancetta, but the meat is usually sold in slices or small diced cubes. Pancetta can be eaten alone or added to other dishes as a taste enhancer.



Since both bacon and pancetta are processed versions of pork belly, their taste is similar. pancetta isn’t usually smoked, and it doesn’t have the distinctive taste of bacon.

Some versions of pancetta can go through a cold-smoking process to give them added flavor notes.

The flavor of pancetta will depend on the different types of herbs and souces used during the brining process.

Other pork belly meats like nduja and pancetta are also one of the fattiest cured meat varieties available. As pancetta comes with higher fat content it is slightly tender.


Pork belly and salt are the two main ingredients for Pancetta. There are additional ingredients that may be different from product to product.

The following ingredients are often found in different varieties.

How Is Pancetta Made?

Depending on the variety, the production process of pancetta will slightly differ. Most of the time, these are the common production steps.

  • Before the salt-curing process takes place, the skin is removed from the pork belly.
  • Salt and Preservatives will be included in a brine that will be prepared following this.
  • Depending on the type of pancetta product, the brine may include seasonings like Rosemary and garlic, as well as possible sweeteners like dextrose.
  • The brine will be rubbed over the entire surface area of the pork to ensure an even coating.
  • The pork belly will be wrapped tightly and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
  • After the curing process, the brine will be washed away and additional seasonings may be added.
  • The length of the drying process for the pancetta depends on whether the meat will be fully dried or not. It’s not possible to eat thoroughly dried pancetta raw.

Different Types of Pancetta

Pancetta Arrotolata

The cylinder shape of Arrotolata has been cured and fully dried. This form of pancetta is very popular among people.

Pancetta Affumicata

Before being prepared into slices, Afumicata undergoes a salt-curing and smoking procedure. This process is similar to the one used in the Italian version of bacon.

Affumicata uses a variety of herbs and spices as seasonings, which makes the taste slightly different.

Pancetta Affumicata needs to be cooked because it has not undergone a drying process.

Pancetta Cubetti

Cubetti is cube-sized pieces of pancetta that are ready to cook.

Pancetta Tesa

Pancetta Tesa is similar to Arrotolata because it is both cured and dried. Rather than being rolled, this variety is cut into flat slices.

Nutritional Values

The data from the USDA Food Data Central database is used to create the basic nutrition profile.

Calories357 kcal
Carbohydrates0 g
Fat32.1 g
Saturated14.3 g
Sodium1643 mg
Protein14.3 g

Pursuant is made from pork belly and it has a good amount of calories. It’s a rich source of vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins and minerals.

Cons of Pancetta

High Sodium Content

The first thing that comes to mind is the high amount of sodium in pancetta.

This is about 70% of the recommended daily limit for Americans in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

A moderate 50-gram serving of pancetta would represent around 35% of the recommended figure.

Decreases in blood pressure can be caused by excessive intake of sodium, which is an essential electrolyte mineral.

Several recent systematic reviews show that high levels of sodium in the diet can raise blood pressure.

It is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease if you have chronically increased blood pressure.

Since sodium and potassium regulate blood pressure, high sodium intake may be problematic for people who aren’t consuming enough.

The impact on the blood pressure of individuals with salt-sensitivity hypertension can be significant if they have very high sodium intakes.


The emergence of foodborne pathogens can be prevented with the use of preservatives in cured meats.

The generation of nitrosamines can potentially be caused by these preservatives.

The organic compounds that form from nitrites reacting with secondary amines are called nitrosamines.

Preservatives such as sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite can be found in sources of meat, while amines can be found in other sources.

In the presence of high temperatures, the nitrosamine forming reaction is more likely to happen.

In one study, microwave cooking did not lead to the formation of nitrosamines, even though bacon was fried at either 171C or 210C.

There is a possibility that nitrosamines can lead to cancer in the body.

Some researchers believe that the link between processed meat intake and colorectal cancer risk may be explained by this.

Due to their ability to provide the body with nitric oxide, nitrates and nitrites can also have potential benefits.

Future research should determine the health effects of nitrates and nitrites being used as preservatives.


pancetta is a traditional cured meat that offers a lot in the taste department, and it’s probably a healthier choice than fresh pork belly.

The delicious flavor of Italian cured meat makes it a popular ingredient in many dishes around the world.

There is no reason why pancetta can not fit into a healthy diet when used moderately.

Similar Posts