Ready meals ‘lower in salt and sugar’ from new process

By James Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

CRL md David Lambert (Left) and Dragons Den TV show winner Ross Mendham
CRL md David Lambert (Left) and Dragons Den TV show winner Ross Mendham

Related tags: Food

Ready meals with lower sugar and salt content are the benefits claimed for a new retort system adopted by TV show Dragon’s Den winner Ross Mendham.

Mendham’s food manufacturing business, Barenakedfoods, announced its partnership with Continuous Retort (CRL) to install the new retort system, which will be used to sterilise the company’s ready meals.

CRL claimed that the new technology reduced the need for sugar and salt in pasteurised or sterilised food.

The new technology will be used in the production of Barenakedfoods’ new range of healthy ready-meals.

CRL md David Lambert said: “Our new food factory will enable us to demonstrate – to food manufacturers around the world – how our disruptive retort technology can help them offer healthier food to their customers.

‘Key milestone

“We confidently expect that the key milestone of selling the first retort will now be met before the end of 2016.”

CRL claimed the current batch retort process for pasteurising could cause food to become over processed and in turn lose its natural flavour.

One of its retorts used less than half the energy and a quarter of the factory space needed for batch retorts, it claimed.

Barenakedfoods owner Ross Mendham said: “I was looking to take the business to the next level and when I heard about the CRL technology, it sounded like a perfect match to us.

​Business to the next level’

“We ​[Barenakedfoods] are really buzzing to be working with CRL and helping to show the world that with the right technology it is possible to create processed food that is healthy and tasty.”

A spokesman for CRL said the first ready meals produced by this process would be available by September 2016.

Mendham’s Dragon’s Den​ pitch won him an investment of £60,000 from entrepreneur Peter Jones. The company now supplies its range of noodles and rice to Morrisons and Waitrose stores nationwide.

Ceo of CRL holding company Reece Group Phil Kite said: “We are delighted to invest in CRL who are at the leading edge on innovation in the food processing sector.

“They have developed a heat treatment system for food that delivers real improvements in food quality.”

Meanwhile, Mendham won a contract​ in August 2014 to supply 400 Morrisons stores nationwide.


Barenakedfoods – at a glance

  • Makes gluten-free noodles and rice
  • Sold in Holland & Barrett stores nationwide
  • Secured £60k funding from Peter James

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