We get asked this a lot, because everyone guess that ham is, well ham? Our answer to that is no! Not all hams were created equal.

It all comes down to the cure these different styles use (and quality pork).

The process of curing the pork leg to make our Natural ham uses naturally-occurring nitrates (mainly from celery). Nitrates when added to fresh pork preserve it and turn it from raw meat to cured meat = ham.

Our Natural ham is not nitrate-free but rather, contains nitrates that are from a natural source!  So maybe others call in nitrate-free as it doesn’t contain any synthetic nitrates.

Traditional ham on the other ham is made using man-made (synthetic) nitrates which gives a distinctive ham flavour that most of us grew up eating and ensure the product has a longer shelf life. We use a minimum amount of synthetic nitrates in our Traditional Hams – only a small amount.

We do make sure people understand the shelf-life of our Natural ham is less than the Traditional ham (as they nitrates are not as strong in natural).  You may also notice a grey tinge to your ham once it has been open for approx. 7-10 days – this is the natural nitrates oxidising  – which is very normal and safe to eat. The taste of natural ham is a little less salty and more earthy in flavour – which some of our customers absolutely love.


McIvor Farm produces award-winning beyond free-range Berkshire pork on the rolling hills of Tooborac Victoria.

Contact Us

Address 2820 Lancefield-Tooborac Rd, Tooborac VIC 3522
Phone Jason +61 0428 414 547 | Belinda +61 0419 422 238
Office Mon to Fri 9am to 4pm | +61 0422 608 317
Email info@mcivorfarmfoods.com.au