The double fresh project aims to raise ready-to-eat meals to a higher quality level. In accordance with the demand of consumers, meals will be improved along with the following dimensions: more appealing, fresher (shelf life), tastier and healthier (special focus on obesity), and guaranteed safe. The meals will have an improved level of viability for the food industries.
Two types of meal concepts will be developed: double fresh and freshly cooked. The double fresh meal is composed of fresh meat / fish, fresh vegetables, a pre-cooked starch component (potatoes, rice or pasta) and sauce. This meal can conveniently be heated in a microwave oven. In order to implement this meal in all European markets the shelf life needs to be extended from currently 5 days to at least 9 days (for densely populated markets within the EU) or 14 days (for most of the EU markets).
The challenge will be to reach the shelf life extension without compromising on the food quality, nutritional quality and food safety. The freshly cooked meal is a cooked and packed meal that will be improved significantly compared to the current post-pasteurised meals by using either milder post-pasteurisation treatments or advanced packaging solutions. The challenge will be to achieve a more appealing cooked meal, which looks and smells fresher and tastier, without compromising on food safety and nutritional quality. Within the double fresh project a large group of scientists and industries will closely co-operate.
The consortium is composed of 1 retailer, 8 food companies, 4 technology providers, 5 research institutes and 3 universities. SME's are well represented in this strong consortium: 7 out of 13 companies are SME's. The following scientific disciplines will closely collaborate in the double fresh project: consumer researchers, nutritional scientists, food microbiologists, packaging technologists, mathematicians, food process engineers and sensory scientists.
<P>For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/food_quality/index_en.html" target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> or the <a href="http://www.doublefresh.eu/" target="_blank">DOUBLE FRESH </a> Web sites.