In processed meats, salt plays a role enhancing and maintaining the colour, whether natural or artificial. It helps to prevent the product from discolouring.
It can be used as a binding agent due to salt causing the formation of protein gels. The gelatinisation of proteins assists in holding the processed meat together.
When it comes to meat preservation, curing is one of the oldest methods used. It was used extensively prior to the discovery of refrigeration. It acts as a preservative by drawing the moisture out of the fresh food. For example, Biltong. Microbes or bacteria need moisture for survival. They are unable to exist if there is a presence of salt.