Its range of Chef-Ready Retortable Bases are for use in sauces, soups and ready meals in the foodservice or retail sectors, and offer “significant energy savings” because they come in powder form.
Advanced Food Systems (AFS) said they are shelf-stable and the ingredients were selected for their ability to withstand the high heat and pressure of retorting. Also, for some of the ingredients, the flavor is enhanced during this process due to the development of “reaction flavors”.
AFS technical service manager, Mark Purpura, gave the example of its cheese sauce that, when retorted in a macaroni and cheese product, develops a “nice, savory, rich flavor” which would not be the case if it did not go through this packaging process.
Purpura told FoodNavigator-USA.com: “The pressure that is inside the retort is a lot longer and higher than typical heat processed foods and a lot more harsh.
“If you don’t select ingredients carefully, the quality can really degrade, with color changes, emulsion changes and texture.
“Since they maintain color and texture they work well in a flexible retort package, like bags or retort pouches.”
The new bases include marinara sauce, cheddar cheese sauce, butter sauce, demi-glace, stocks such as chicken, beef, vegetable and seafood, soup base and chili.
They quickly hydrate using water at ambient or warm temperatures and AFS said they can be easily combined with meat, pasta or other such ingredients prior to retort processing.
In the marketing of these products, the New Jersey-based company, is also focusing on the energy saving credentials of the powders, as they require no refrigeration or freezing in shipping and storage, unlike traditional liquids or pastes.
AFS said: “Further cost savings in shipping and storage are achieved because dry bases weigh less and are more compact than water-containing bases.”
Purpura added that dry products are not subject to the same sort of commodity price fluctuations as, for example, liquid dairy or cream products.
At least four of AFS’s new product launches over the last few months have been geared towards helping manufacturers reduce costs. They are a range of new egg replacement ingredients, browning agents, an ingredient system to reduce semolina and Chef-Ready Stock Bases.
Its egg replacement BakeRite ingredient systems, launched in June, were particularly developed as an alternative to using whole egg solids, which have "skyrocketed" in price in the last two years.
The products are said to replace up to 65 percent of whole egg solids in baked goods such as pound cake, muffins, cupcakes and cookies.