Frozen meals have been a staple of North American dinners for the reason that 1950s. However have you ever ever puzzled how frozen meals is made?
We sat down with our in-house meals scientist, Kristine Sung, to be taught extra about how Luvo meals transfer from inspiration to completed product, and the way the method of freezing meals has modified for the reason that introduction of ‘ye olde frozen TV tray.’
Hey Kris! Let’s begin with a straightforward one: what precisely is meals science? What do you do in a day as a meals scientist?
Within the easiest phrases, I might describe meals science as a blended scientific self-discipline. You cope with engineering, biology, chemistry and physics, however the medium that you’re enjoying with is meals. Totally different careers for meals scientists can vary from testing meals high quality and security, to testing new manufacturing equipment, to creating new meals flavors and textures.
At Luvo, I assist convey our concepts and inspiration to life, experimenting with flavors and freezing strategies to make sure that every Luvo meal is nutritious, scrumptious, and straightforward for our customers to warmth and serve at residence.
What impressed you to check meals sciences?
I’ve at all times had a love for meals, and wished to enter culinary arts. I used to be watching the Meals Community one night, and one of many cooks partnered with Knorr to show considered one of his recipes right into a freeze-dried meal. I began researching how the method of reworking recipes right into a take-home meal labored, and found meals science.
How do Luvo recipes transfer from inspiration to closing recipe?
Our innovation and concepts stem from protecting abreast of present culinary development and well-liked diets. As soon as now we have an concept in thoughts, we work with our producers and product improvement groups to make sure that every meal reaches our excessive requirements. We start sampling concepts, engaged on the flavour profile and choosing particular substances.
We work together with Registered Dietitians to make sure that the flavors and meals we’re impressed by are consistent with a balanced, nutritious eating regimen.
Our producers do the bodily improvement for us, so we obtain frozen samples right here in our Vancouver workplaces—similar to you’d discover in a retailer! We commute till we’re positive that every Luvo recipe meets each our dietary tips, and the flavour profile we would like.
Why are high quality substances essential?
When Luvo first launched, we dedicated to a promise of offering high quality substances. It’s essential to us to make use of non-GMO, natural substances, antibiotic-free meat, and entire meals. Merely put, the higher the substances, the higher the vitamin, the higher the style.
One thing that lots of people don’t know is that the recent produce you discover on the grocery retailer was picked far earlier than it totally ripened. For some gadgets, this doesn’t matter as a result of they proceed to ripen off the vine—assume bananas and avocados. However for a lot of others, they by no means attain their full potential for dietary worth. We consider in choosing greens and fruits at their ripest level to make sure they’re at their most vitamin density. As a result of we flash freeze our meals virtually instantly after it’s harvested, the substances we choose normally have extra nutritional vitamins and vitamins than the recent produce you’d discover within the grocery aisle.
How do you improve taste whereas nonetheless reducing down on sodium and sugar?
As a result of we use top quality substances, they have already got a number of pure taste! So with regards to including herbs and spices to our meals, we consider in enhancing the pure flavors we have already got.
Luvo meals are recognized for his or her large, shiny, daring spices and herbs.
Quite a lot of frozen meals producers use “hidden” salt within the type of preservatives and components, that means you may not discover it immediately on the ingredient record. As a result of we consider in limiting our sodium content material, we go daring with pure herbs and spices to taste our globally-inspired recipes.
What’s the manufacturing course of like?
As soon as a recipe has our closing stamp of approval, it strikes into manufacturing. Every ingredient is chopped, blended, and assembled down a semi-automatic conveyor line. The parts are then deposited into our bowls in measured proportions to make sure that every meal is optimally balanced.
After every little thing is ready and portioned, a protecting movie is utilized to the bowl to seal in taste and maintain it hermetic. Then they’re off to the flash freezer, the place every bowl is blasted with icy chilly air because it strikes alongside a conveyor belt. As soon as they’re totally frozen, they’re despatched to packaging and moved into a standard freezer, the place they wait to be shipped off to grocery shops or your own home.
How does flash-freezing work to lock in taste? How is that this course of totally different from conventional freezing strategies?
With a view to perceive how flash freezing works (and why it’s higher in your meals), we have to perceive the science of freezing. Once you freeze meals, you’re truly freezing the water molecules inside it. As a result of water molecules increase as they freeze, the ice crystals that kind can injury the mobile construction of water-dense meals like fruit and greens.
In conventional freezing strategies, every veggie produces a couple of giant ice crystals that rupture the cell partitions, inflicting a softer texture once they’re thawed or cooked. (Suppose your grandma’s mushy frozen peas!) Flash freezing works by freezing meals rapidly at a a lot decrease temperature, so the water molecules crystalize virtually immediately. This produces many small ice crystals, which don’t injury the mobile integrity of the meals. What does this imply for customers? A greater tasting, extra nutritious meal.
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