Usain Bolt brings new hot sauce to Australia

Superstar sprinter Usain Bolt has teamed up with Coles supermarkets to create a line of hot sauces launching this week across Australia.

Rolling out in Coles supermarkets, the release of the line marks the first time Bolt has collaborated with a supermarket to develop a product.

Usain’s Insane Hot Sauce is available in three fiery flavours, all inspired by family recipes – Mango & Three Chilli, Pineapple & Jamaican Spice and Original Jamaican Spice.

The sprinter said the range was created to celebrate his passion for spicy food and bring a touch of Caribbean heat to everyday dishes.

“As I travelled the world I realised that Caribbean food was not readily  available outside places like the US, and I wanted to bring these special flavours to Australia,” he said.

“I love coming to Australia and have visited many times, so I wanted to develop a product that lets Australians experience real Caribbean flavours. The sauces can be added to anything, from chicken, pork or beef, to potatoes and rice to give any dish a true Jamaican twist.

“Thanks to Coles, these sauces are my first product to hit supermarkets and I hope people like it.”

Coles Chief Customer Officer, Simon McDowell, said the retailer was ecstatic to extend its relationship with Usain Bolt after he was recently announced as a Coles Sports for Schools ambassador.

“This partnership has been very exciting for us and for our customers. Not only are we bringing new and innovative products to our customers, we’ve been able to develop the products in collaboration with much-loved local Aussie supplier, MON Natural Foods.

“We are committed to supporting local businesses, so we are proud have MON Natural Foods on board to produce Usain’s hot sauces for our customers to try,” he said.

MON Natural FoodsBusiness Manager, Joshua Green said his team maintained a strong commitment to investing in locally sourced products since the family took over the business in 2012.

“We are excited to be partnering with Coles and Usain on these exciting new products which use as many Australian ingredients as possible,” he said.

“Thanks to our growing partnership with Coles we have doubled our production over the last three years, meaning we’ve been able to increase our local workforce from 30 to over 55 people.”

Birch & Waite opens new factory in Western Sydney

Family-owned maker of wet food products, Birch & Waite opened its new $13.5 million factory in the Sydney suburb of Revesby on Friday.

The machinery on-site includes a Shaking Retort, which is the first commercial sized machine of its type in the Southern Hemisphere.

While to start with the Revesby site will employ 20 workers, it is hoped that number will grow to 45.

Assistant Minister for Industry Innovation and Science Craig Laundy, along with owners Willi Schultheiss (pictured top) and Peter Flick, were on-hand to open the facility.

“When you use the term innovation and you walk through this factory and you see robots and equipment and machinery, the broader Australian public get scared that they’re going to lose their jobs,” said Laundy.

“However, with the opening of this facility comes 20 new jobs and from the day the business started in 1980 with three staff, today the business has 123 staff. That’s the joy of small and family business.”

Containing high speed packaging machines and state of the art equipment, the site is set to drive over $20 million in growth for the business. A $4 million turnover is predicted for its first year of operation, which will focus on the firm’s specialty health range, sachet packing and processing.

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“The new technology allows for a higher vitamin retention and lower salt use, while retaining a superior taste with a longer shelf life and no preservatives,” explained David Charles, general manager of Birch & Waite. “High pH sauces that contain fresh ingredients will keep their full flavour, nutritional value and freshness thanks to the quick thermal cooking process it allows. The end results are products that taste as if a chef has just created them.”

Alongside premium batch products for consumers and professional chefs, the new site has provided Birch & Waite the ability to develop and bring to market a new range of Thickened Liquid health products for those suffering from dysphagia– a disorder that causes difficulty, or inability to swallow.

“We realised that as well as developing products with good flavours, there is a clear need in the health care sector for a new, more palatable product to support the hydration and nutrition requirements of people with dysphagia. The new technology at Revesby has made this possible,” said Charles. “A good deal of development went into the design of the products to enable them to work with the functionality of the equipment to produce a range of well received product.”

Assistant Minister for Industry Innovation and Science, Craig Laundy (centre) with Birch & Waite owners Willi Schultheiss (second from right) and Peter Flick (far left).
Assistant Minister for Industry Innovation and Science, Craig Laundy (centre) with Birch & Waite owners Willi Schultheiss (second from right) and Peter Flick (far left).

Beerenberg range of six Slow Cooker sauces heading to USA

The Beerenberg range of six Slow Cooker sauces is about to make an entrance into the lucrative US market with the products soon to adorn the shelves of major retailers across that country.

The move follows the successful local launch of the range last year, when the sauces – four chicken options, a pork option and a beef option – proved popular with food loving families.

“The local experience told us that while we all live busy lives, we still want to feel engaged in the cooking process, we still want to serve our families and friends healthy and hearty dishes free of additives and preservatives,” Beerenberg’s Marketing Director Sally Paech said.

The South Australian family business that has called their farm on the outskirts of Hahndorf home for seven generations has now obtained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US nutritional labelling compliance.

It has recently concluded a distribution arrangement with the US’s largest distributor, United National Foods, which will see the Beerenberg products available in California’s independent supermarkets from September.

“We hope this will be the first of many forays into the US market as those across the Pacific come to appreciate a quintessential taste of Australia,” Paech added.

The Beerenberg Slow Cooker Sauce range comprises a Spanish Chicken with a hint of spicy deliciousness, a Creole Chicken Jambalaya with a distinctly southern bite, a French Chicken in the classic Coq au Vin tradition, a hearty Farmhouse Chicken, a fresh and fruity Cuban Mojo Pork and a homely and convivial Hungarian Beef Stew.


Healthy dose of special fish sauce keeps beriberi at bay

Adding the vitamin thiamine to fish sauce has been identified as the best way to protect Cambodian infants against the deadly beriberi disease.

A joint study by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and the University of Adelaide, found that introducing fish sauce fortified with the thiamine to the Cambodian diet provided enough nutrition to prevent the disease, which is a leading cause of infant death in the country.

The study involved a trial in Cambodia led by the South Australian researchers where varying levels of thiamine (vitamin B1) was added to fish sauce products during the manufacturing process.

Breastfeeding mothers and children who ate the fish sauce were then tested to confirm adequate levels of thiamine was present in their blood to prevent the disease.

Beriberi is caused by thiamine deficiency and in infant cases can quickly progress from mild symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea to heart failure.

With the findings published in the Journal of Paediatrics, Principal Nutritionist and Affiliate Professor at SAHMRI Tim Green said the next step was to lobby for funds to expand the trial in a bid to convince the Cambodian government of the merits of thiamine fortification.

“We’ve done this relatively large randomised controlled trial, but we provided the fish sauce in this case,” he said.

“Our next step is to scale up – to get Cambodian government or Cambodian industry involved and show that it works with 100,000 or 200,000 people.

“And if we can show that works, we can provide evidence to the government and they can also mandate the addition of thiamine to fish sauce.”

While fish sauce has no nutritional advantage over other foods trialled in the study, it was selected because of its near ubiquitous use in Cambodian culture.

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Fish sauce is produced in centralised locations, making it easier for government and industry to control, and is already fortified with iron

Fortification is used in many countries around the world, but to be effective it is important to select a foodstuff already consumed by the majority of the population.

“Fortification is used in a lot of different settings – we do it in Australia, for example fortifying wheat flour with folic acid, or salt with iodine,” Professor Tim said.

“However, the important thing to consider is what you fortify may differ from country to country depending on what the staple is.

“We found that fish sauce in South East Asia is a good vehicle because it’s so popular and so widely consumed.”

While the trial was focused on Cambodia, Professor Green said a similar strategy could be adopted in other South East Asian countries affected by beriberi disease.

“Because beriberi isn’t always recognised and the onset from the initial symptoms – which can be quite mild – to death is so rapid, the best thing to do would be to prevent it in the first place,” Professor Green said.

While the study focused on thiamine fortification, the identification of fish sauce as the food of choice for delivery could also be expanded to cover other nutritional deficiencies.

Professor Green said his team had also considered the possibility of using fish sauce to deliver vitamin B2.

South Australia’s capital Adelaide has three long-standing public universities, Flinders UniversityUniversity of South Australia and the University of Adelaide, each of which are consistently rated highly in the international higher education rankings.

This article first appeared in The Lead.


Easy-to-use squeezable dips and aiolis

Chris’ Dips has launched new, easy-to-use squeezable dips and aiolis in a 1kg Food Service range.

The new Saucier Chef Range puts that final professional touch to a meal – whether it’s a dollop on the side, or drizzle on the top of any dish, the range takes the current traditional dips to an easy finishing off format.

The range is available for order from September 2016. The Food Service squeezable bottle range offers four of Chris’ most popular traditional dip flavours including Hommus and Avocado.

The new selection of Aiolis includes four enticing flavours including Wasabi Aioli and Gherkin & Mustard Aioli. All freshly prepared the new range comes in 1kg easy-squeeze bottles for convenient application that enhances almost any meal.

The range is both gluten free and suitable for vegetarians. Professional chefs and cooks will agree the restaurant quality of both flavour and texture will make them look good when applying to any dish that leaves their kitchen.


Leggo’s launches new fresh look pasta sauces and bakes range

Leggo’s has launched new look packaging for its favourite range of tasty Pasta Sauces and Bakes, which includes Health Star Ratings to help consumers make more informed choices when shopping.

In a first for the branded Italian sauces category, Leggo’s has added Health Star Ratings to it’s Pasta Sauces and Bakes range with over 70 per cent of the product achieving 4 Stars. The revamped Leggo’s Pasta Sauces and Bakes range brings the same great quality and taste consumers know and love with the added value of no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Humble family favourites like the popular Bolognese still remain the best seller in the category and continue to grow as modern additions like red wine, mushroom and bacon take over the dining room tables of Australia.

Made in Australia, out of a local factory in Echuca (Victoria), the Pasta Sauces and Bakes range is the perfect addition to any household pantry. Leggo’s is committed to offering great Italian sauces full of texture and flavour, packing in wholesome ingredients like rich red tomatoes, onion, garlic and herbs in each jar to create a tasty family meal.

Kim Fraser, Brand Manager Shelf Sauces at Simplot, said, “We are proud to be the first range in the branded Italian sauce category to include Health Star Ratings on our packaging. Leggo’s continues to strive to help customers make more informed choices when cooking pasta dishes at home.”

Leggo’s new look family range also comes with three new delicious Pasta Sauce flavours: Tomato and Basil, Cheesy Tomato and Garden Vegetable, and two new Pasta Bake flavours: Sundried Tomato and Caramelised Onion Tuna Bake, and Pizza Supreme.