Interview with Dominika Gawłowicz-Cebula, specialist in taste mixes development.

- We have recently discussed the dynamically developing Convenience food trend. Ready To Cook is a category of this trend. Is it very popular with customers?

- Ready To Cook products are complete meals properly seasoned and prepared, requiring at home only heat treatment specified by the manufacturer. And it is true, this type of assortment has definitely recorded increase in sales in recent times.

- What makes this type of food so popular?

- Customers associate it with a fresh, unprocessed product, but already properly prepared in terms of taste or form of serving.

- The category of these meals seems to be very broad.

- This is indeed a very large assortment and a very large offer for the customer. It mainly includes meat products – portioned chops, stews, meat rolls, roast meat, etc. In the summer, when the barbecue season begins, the category extends by meat in ready marinades and sausages ready to put on the grill.

- Are there any special technological requirements for preparing this type of meals?

- It is not as easy as it seems. When preparing such a meal at home, right before cooking we season the meat, leave it in marinate and after a while the meat is on fire. In the case of Ready To Cook meals, a seasoned portion of meat is stored in the chilled counter for some time. Therefore, we should remember that while fresh meat is subject to strict regulations and requires maintaining proper conditions throughout the whole technological chain, the additives used to prepare food may be a source of secondary microbial contamination of the product.

- What does it mean for manufacturers of such meals?

- Spices are plant material, they have their own specific microbiology. Surfaces of meat and fish are an excellent ground for development of all kinds of microorganisms. That is why it is so important to use herbs and sterilized flavor mixes with reduced microbiology for such production.

- Does Promar have a sterilized spice brand it its offer?

- Yes, the Propuro brand is a line of carefully selected, cleaned and sterilized spices. Owing to hybrid sterilization they retain their full flavor, aroma and intense color. Low spice microbiology increases safety of use. Since I work in the taste development department, I know how important it is to have properly seasoned meals. Therefore, in the case of herbs and flavor mixtures dedicated to Ready To Cook meals, we must ensure both low microbiology and full aroma of the spice.

- Should manufacturers of the Ready To Cook meals use only sterilized spices?

- It would be the safest way. What we should also remember is that the use of sterilized meat and fish additives enable stability or extension of the shelf life of such a dish. I would also like to emphasize the size of the flavor offer here. At the moment, we have such a developed technology that the offer of spices includes a huge range of mixtures based on sterilized spices, composed for both various meat and fish dishes, as well as barbecue sets.

- Thank you for the interview.

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Dominika Gawłowicz-Cebula, specialist in taste mixes development
Dominika Gawłowicz-Cebula, specialist in taste mixes development