Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Meat and fish spreads is a ready-to-eat products that do not require further cooking. It is directly spread in sandwiches, toasts, crackers, rotti (Sri Lankan food), biscuits & filling for pastry. 

Meat and fish spreads can be split into 2 categories. They are;

  1. Fish based sandwich spreads                 
  2. Meat based sandwich spreads

Meat and fish spreads are suitable for,

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Occasions (Alms giving, Parties)
  • Trips
  • Snack time
Sensory attributes of meat & fish spreads
  • Colour: Range of color – mainly brownish colour due to fish/meat, also include slight green & orange due to presence of carrot & bell pepper
  • Texture: Spreadable & fibrous nature
  • Taste and Flavour: Slightly Salty, Spicy & umami
  • Aroma: Spicy & fish or meat odour

These meat and fish spreads are highly popular due to its ready-to-eat and convenient nature. Sandwich spreads are suitable for urban and busy lifestyle. Since nowadays most of the women engage in jobs therefore they shift for convenient products. As an example using these spreads they can prepare sandwich within 2-3 minutes.  Also these products are tasty and are highly preferable by children. In addition to that high income earners increase and consumers education level increase and population Increase cause the rapid boost of sandwich spread sales.  Growth of supermarket chains also contributes there popularity. Sensory attributes of spreads given in following.

Why sandwich spreads are available mainly in supermarkets?
  • Products mainly target high income to middle income earners
  • Product display methods enhance consumer awareness
Main ingredients in spreads are;

  • Tuna and salmon mixture is used: May be salmon is more flovourful than tuna
  • Mayonnaise - thick, creamy sauce & used as a condiment. It is a stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk and either vinegar or lemon juice. It increase spreadability

Other ingredients are; Corn Flour, Vinegar, Bell Pepper, Carrot, Permitted Flavour enhancer (E 621), Egg Yolk,  Sugar, Salt, onion, garlic
  • E 621: Permitted Flavour Enhancer - Monosodium Glutamate. Contribute to umami taste. Controversial – May associate with cancers
  • Corn Flour & Egg Yolk: Act as thickening & binding agent
  • Vinegar: Preservative & Increase flavour
  • Other ingredients increase bulk of product. They may be cheaper than fish or meat. 

All are canned products with easy openings. Cans are tin plated metal can with epoxy lining. Canning undergoes commercial sterilization – Destroy Clostridium Botulinum & other pathogenic microorganisms. But Spoilage microorganisms can grow. Therefore consumers should not buy flipper, spillage or bulging cans. It Indicate the spoilage of can. Vinegar, Salt, Sugar & other spices also contribute to enhance shelf life. 

Why cans are used as packaging materials?
  • Consumers with higher income & educational level are targeted, So quality is important
  • Convenient nature
  • Preserve the product
  • Easy to stack on super market shelves
  • Easy handling

Label contains brand, ingredients, net weight, standards, price, storage conditions, manufacturing & marketing organizations & bar code. Date of manufacture & expiry appears on bottom of can. Label declares “Refrigerate after opening”. Before opening it can be stored in ambient temperature. After opening it should be stored in a refrigerator because they are highly susceptible to spoilage due to higher moisture & nutrient content. All these information contribute to; 
  • Enhance Product Traceability
  • Mandatory by Law (Food Act)
  • Avoid allergic reactions
  • Create brand image
  • Protect company reputation & minimize court cases

Spread products at least have ISO 22000: HACCP – Food Safety Management System and HALAL. These standards are Important for;
  • Ensure that product is safe for human consumption
  • Easy to capture market – Muslim Community
  • Ready-to-eat Product – Incorporating FSM System is essential

Nutritional Aspects



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