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New Zealand Exporting Chicken to Faraway Markets

14 November 2013

NEW ZEALAND - Leading poultry producer Tegel Foods is aiming to expand its export markets, but first it had to extend the shelf life of its products to overcome the long-distance travel from New Zealand.

According to The New Zealand Herald, Auckland-based Tegel turned to the The FoodBowl, which operates under red-line hygiene protocol and has an accredited Food Safety plan and Risk Management programme, for trials and testing, and produced a new chicken product for the Asian markets using the revolutionary high pressure processing (HPP) system.

The FoodBowl, located near Auckland International Airport, has invested in the latest equipment for freeze drying, high pressure processing (HPP), twin-screw extrusion, milling/grinding and sieving, VBlending, general processing and retorting (sterilised cooking under pressure), product development kitchens and microwave thawing.

The project team at Tegel made full use of the HPP machine at The Foodbowl for different trials over a period of a year. The team eliminated preservatives and chemical curing agents while using some natural ingredients sourced from the United States.

Finally, the team was happy its new product - chilled manuka-smoked chicken leg fillet would satisfy the Asian palate.

Tegel has become the first poultry producer in New Zealand to export a HPP product, and it is looking forward to ongoing monthly orders from Asia.

Experimenting with different combinations of the HPP system, the Tegel project team was able to extend the shelf life of the chilled product without changing most of its properties including colour and texture.

The existing shelf life was increased nearly three times, giving enough time for shipping (normally six weeks) to faraway markets and for retailers to stock and sell the leg fillets.

Chicken legs are sold at low prices in New Zealand but were regarded more highly in the Asian markets. "We have been able to add value to the back end of the bird, and the HPP trials and validation have created the basis for other new products," said a Tegel spokesperson.

Up till now, the main export market for cooked and frozen chicken has been Australia.

TheMeatSite News Desk



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