News reports over the last few days are lauding big food makers for reducing the number of ingredients in their products. We too appreciate any effort that results in a cleaner label. But I agree with award-winning journalist and author Michael Moss that a clean label is just half the battle. What’s equally important is how healthy and nutritious your key ingredients are.
The beauty of 915 Labs microwave processing technology is its light touch: it doesn’t strip the nutrients from the naturally healthy ingredients you start with. By using a combination of a hot water bath and microwaves, foods processed in our systems reach sterilization or pasteurization temperatures very rapidly, which eliminates the heat damage that occurs with traditional sterilization, or retort, and the need for excessive amounts of salt and other additives to compensate for that damage.
This past week, I watched food researchers and product developers from U.S., Thailand and New Zealand food companies test out recipes on our pilot scale microwave sterilization system. Using healthy ingredients like salmon filets, fresh eggplant, carrots and other vegetables and natural seasonings, they prepared a variety of foods and then following microwave processing, submitted each to a taste test.
The food execs were impressed with the taste, texture and flavor of their dishes including salmon filets paired with compound butter and herbs, vegetarian moussaka with tomato and béchamel sauces and abalone fish in oyster sauce. They left enthused about the possibilities our new technology offers the world of packaged foods.
Food companies are working hard to respond to consumer demands for fewer additives and more recognizable ingredients in our food. But to make high quality packaged food, we have to do more than just get rid of the junk — we also have to start with healthful ingredients and process them in a way that doesn’t significantly reduce their nutritional value. At 915 Labs, we plan to be part of that transformation.