September 2011/Prepared Foods -- Everyone nowadays seems to be interested in food safety--in fact, the Produce Manufacturing Association ranks food safety as the number one issue now facing the industry. In this heightened environment, it is not just good sense to mitigate threats to food safety--it becomes essential.

One company that has tackled the issue head-on is Olam Spices & Vegetable Ingredients--with two unique, high-performance vegetable products claimed to reduce risk and guarantee a year-round supply of high-quality product that is safe and ready-to-eat. Both products make use of Olam’s RTE 3-Step Process (see chart “Smart Steps to Food Safety”).

“Our proprietary safety process replaces blanching typical of traditional IQF processing with pasteurization, which is a validated kill step that doesn’t compromise finished-product quality,” said Cathy Katavich, product line director-specialty vegetables, Olam Spices & Vegetable Ingredients. “Whether it’s our specialty vegetables, spices or tomato products, safety is our number one priority.”

Olam’s Ready-to-Eat IQF Vegetables represent a game-changing innovation that takes food safety to a new level. They meet the RTE standards required of a USDA, RTE meat-processing facility and can be used in meat and poultry products where vegetables are added post-lethality, even if the products undergo further cooking. They can be used in prepared foods, such as frozen pizzas and microwaveable meals, which contain vegetables and require further cooking from the consumer, and are also ideal in foods where vegetables are used “fresh,” without further cooking.

Due to a unique safety process that yields RTE vegetables with all the convenience and ease-in-use of traditional IQF, Olam’s Ready-to-Eat IQF Vegetables are a 1:1 drop-in replacement for the IQF vegetables currently on the market—the company says there is no difference in solids content and no need to reformulate, and they are a 1:1 serving-size equivalent to fresh vegetables, as well. Olam’s state-of-the-art process yields harvest-fresh color and flavor, and year-round availability.

Lose the Moisture, Not the Appeal
Olam’s Controlled Moisture™ (CM) Vegetables contain everything food formulators could want in a functional vegetable ingredient, including proven product performance; concentrated nutrition; and the vivid color, texture and flavor of just-picked produce.

Olam’s proprietary, all-natural CM technology eliminates extra water, yielding a frozen vegetable with higher solids content and the true-to-nature appearance that signifies wholesomeness to today’s consumers. The company’s broad selection of CM Vegetables is consistent, quality-controlled and available year-round, providing control and labor-saving efficiency.

Advantages include products holding up better, due to less water in application, such as frozen pizzas or microwave entrees; crisper crusts, breads and doughs; and sauces and eggs with the right amount of moisture.

Moreover, CM Vegetables go straight from the freezer to the application--no further cooking is required. The RTE status includes a pasteurization process in a BRC-certified plant that ensures a high-quality, safe product.

And, lower moisture and higher solids mean concentrated vegetable flavor and nutrition, helping applications to deliver a full vegetable serving with 33% fewer CM Vegetables than fresh. pf

For more information:
Olam Spices & Vegetable Ingredients • Fresno, Calif. 
877-492-4420 •