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Newly Weds Foods has seen the future: it's very much baked, light and marinated.

Fish and seafood products of the future must look good, smell good, taste good -- and be good for you. They have to somehow respond to both the needs of the industry and the wants of the consumer.

So what are the key innovations in a changing market? Bruce Leshinski, vice president of Chicago-headquartered coating supplier Newly Weds Foods, has some ideas to share -- one of which is oven baked items as an alternative to fried.

Oven bake systems, such as Newly Weds' Newly Crisp process (using an oil emulsion batter and an egg spray as a final application), allow for products that look and taste like fried. However, they contain 30% less fat, and are less messy and troublesome to prepare.

One major manufacturer was able to increase sales by 2.5 million pounds with oven bake products by tapping into the school foodservice market. "Most of the schools in the USA do not have fryers, therefore there is a demand for oven bakeable products," he explained.

Even in the fried product area, the industry can produce healthier products with light batters, which pick up 8-10% less fat during frying and make use of the new generation of unsaturated fats and oils. Light and lightly breaded products have been in stores for several years, but light and lightly battered products are still in their infancy.

Marinades and glazes, initially developed to offset projected declines in market share for battered and breaded products, are taking on a life of their own as they appeal to a niche of consumers seeking upscale added value products addressing nutritional concerns. Advances in starch and gum technology and the continued development of new flavor profiles offer an unlimited potential for restaurant-quality fish and seafood products for home consumption.

Of course, there's still plenty of room for Japanese-style bread crumbs, which can be used in microwaveable shake-and-bake items and products packaged with susceptor boards. Innovations in flour, gum, starch and flavor are being incorporated into traditional Japanese bread crumbs to give them unique new characteristics, in addition to the traditional appeal of pleasing bite and crunch that retain their integrity through the processing cycle.

Often overlooked, Leshinski said, are innovations in predusting. The newer flours and starches allow great flexibility in responding to new product requirements -- as when pollock has to be substituted for cod in times of shortage and high prices: the different moisture content of pollock called for a new pre-dust to give the same product appearance. With common species being depleted and new species coming onto the market, there will be an even greater future need for pre-dust innovation.

Look for more finger and convenience foods, spurred by new processing technology that allows for unlimited variations -- including co-extruded products and doughenrobed (Rheon) products. Expanded use of surimi for prepared salads, pizza toppings, fabricated shrimp and scallops, etc., is also a coming trend. Finger foods and surimi products appeal to changing lifestyles while responding to the depletion of traditional raw material in waters around the world.

Indonesian Seafood Sector Seeking Foreign Investment

Nine seafood processors in Indonesia are in a position to develop cooperative ventures with United States firms through marketing arrangements, investments and technology transfers.

That's the word from Robin Rackowe, president of International Marine Fisheries Co., who evaluated 20 Indonesian seafood processing firms recently on behalf of the Trade and Investment Services (TIS) Indonesian Fast Track Program.

TIS is a cooperative venture of the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) and the US Agency for International Development (AID). Through both its field office in Jakarta and its headquarters at Stamford, Conn., back in the United States, TIS can put companies in direct touch with interested Indonesian companies.

Indonesia is a leading producer and exporter of shrimp, with 1991 output of 140,000 tons second only to China (145,000). But a number of seafood processors, hit by falling shrimp prices in the last couple of years, are looking to diversify into other products -- among them Spanish mackerel, lobster, hairtail, tilapia, anchovy, frog legs, tuna, snapper, grouper, pomfret, etc. Products felt to have especially strong export potential are blue crab meat, tilapia fillets, catfish, lobster tails, swordfish and tuna.
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Title Annotation:Newly Weds Foods Inc.
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Oct 1, 1992
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