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Mincing Their Way Through France

10 June 2002

A New Zealand company's innovative approach to the humble mince has won it a place at SIAL, the world's largest food exhibition, in France.

Aria Farms, based in Hamilton, has cracked the code of how to make frozen mince flow freely from the freezer bag and their unique process will be New Zealand's only entrant in the 'most innovative meat, poultry and delicatessen meats' category at this year's SIAL..

A grant of $27,000 from Technology New Zealand's Grants for Private Sector Research and Development scheme (GPSRD) helped find the solution to 'de-clumping' minced meat. Owner Erik Arndt has developed a way to deactivate amino acids, allowing the flakes of meat to remain separate while frozen and during cooking

Anna Arndt, of Aria Farms, says the research aimed to find ways of adding value to meat, particularly to lower grade cuts. "We also wanted to find a more user friendly and healthy product, and the free flow mince is much lower in fat than usual minced meat (around 1.5%)."

Ms Arndt says the product is already selling well in supermarkets, at a price similar to premium grade and she expects it to be popular in the food service industry, because of the convenience of free flow.

"The Technology New Zealand funding was pivotal in helping us develop this process, which has led to being chosen for SIAL. It's hard to find the time and energy to develop new products and we're very pleased to be able to represent New Zealand innovation. Hopefully this will be good for the food industry as a whole," she says.

Ms Arndt says that while beef is the main product, the process can also be used to make lamb and pork free flow frozen mince.

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