Beatriz Albo, founder of Sabor de Amor, began her career as a research scientist in her home country of Spain. However, her mother and grandmother's passion for cooking inspired her to follow her love of food and so she embarked on a journey to create a range of authentic Spanish products. Beatriz has perfected the recipes handed down to her from her family's then well-known restaurant in Salamanca and now creates her products in Wrexham using the finest and carefully balanced ingredients.
SUPPORT RECEIVED FROM FOOD TECHNOLOGY CENTRE
Sabor de Amor has over the years received Project HELIX support through the Food Technology Centre in Llangefni for product development and guidance in maintaining its SALSA level.
As a company seeking to present products to large retailers, it was imperative that the products tasted exceptional, were stable and had a good shelf life. With Project HELIX assistance, Sabor de Amor's sauces, which once opened, would last only 1-3 days, undertook a series of tests to increase their shelf life. Tests included predicted shelf life modelling (CIMSCEE and Acid club for cold fill products) as well as water and PH assessments. SUNTEST and DigiEye systems were also used to accelerate shelf life to test for colour and texture variation.
Microbiological testing was carried out on the alioli and tapenade (the alioli is an emulsion, therefore, more time was spent on this product). Nutritional content was also provided on the products. Microbiological testing was carried out to validate the open shelf life of the Salsa Brava and paella sauce. A sensory assessment was undertaken with monitoring of hexanal for rancidity.
Product recalls can be costly to companies, therefore, the centre was supportive if the company needed answers quickly – elsewhere, it can take a minimum of ten days to get results, but at the centre it can be a quick turnaround. Sabor de Amor has received ongoing support and guidance regarding its SALSA level and now, through knowledge transfer, has an understanding of the food safety requirements within a food production unit.
BENEFITS OF THE SUPPORT
As a result of the testing carried out at the centre, the products' shelf life has now been extended to four weeks. The company has increased its sales by 60% and can now confidently target larger retailers such as Ocado and Castell Howell Foods.
Beatriz Albo, founder of Sabor de Amor explained,
I cannot praise the team at the Food Technology Centre enough for its professionalism and efficiency and for the support I've received through Project HELIX. Not only has the centre made sure my products are fit for purpose and has helped me to promote them but I've also seen a considerable increase in sales. The centre's expertise is second to none and I've always felt confident in the advice and guidance I'm given. You can trust your product is in good hands and that's good to know when you've taken a lot of time and effort in creating your product recipes. You feel you're looked after by every member of the team.