• Effect of Milk Composition on the Quality of Fresh Fermented Dairy Products

      Wilkinson, M.G.; Guinee, Timothy P.; Fenelon, Mark A. (Teagasc, 2000-09-01)
      The rheology of yogurts or fresh fermented products generally describes and measures the texture of the product and includes such terms as viscosity and firmness of the gel while syneresis refers to the tendency of the yogurt to whey-off during storage. The importance of rheology and susceptibility to syneresis of fermented milk products is that they both have major impacts on consumer perceptions of the final product quality. Indeed, variation in the quality of yogurt products can lead the consumer to experience either an over-thin watery or an over-thick stodgy texture or a product which has a high level of free whey. It is obvious that the seasonal milk supply in Ireland compounds the particular difficulties associated with achieving a consistency in the quality of yogurts or other fresh fermented products. Importantly, both the rheology and syneresis of yogurts are markedly influenced by milk composition, processing treatments and the addition of hydrocolloids. Therefore, this project was undertaken so as to develop a laboratory fermented milks model system which allows the evaluation of the effects of variation of milk components, individually or in combination, on the rheological and syneretic properties of fermented milk products such as yogurt. In particular, the effects of varying total protein, casein-to-whey protein ratio, and fat content were studied as these variations reflect both the differences in milk composition due to lactational/seasonal effects and those due to process variations such as milk heat treatment.
    • The Effect of Nutrition on the Flavour of Strawberries Grown Under Protection.

      MacNaeidhe, F. S. (Teagasc, 2001-07-01)
      The superior flavour of strawberries grown in the brown earth soils in Ireland compared with those grown on podsolics derived from calcium rich chalk has been recognised by UK wholesalers for some time. The strawberry variety Elsanta is the most common variety grown in both regions and it is reasonable to conclude that environmental factors especially soil type are mainly responsible for the superior flavour of strawberries grown on brown earth soils. The differences in soil pH, calcium and potassium concentrations were used as the main basis in drafting a research project investigating the effect of nutrition on the flavour of strawberries. A research project on the effect of nutrition on the flavour of strawberries under protection was undertaken at Clonroche in 1997.
    • The Effects of Processing and Ripening on the Quality of Pizza Cheese

      Guinee, Timothy P.; Mulholland, E.; Mullins, C.; Corcoran, M.O.; Auty, Mark (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
      The main aims of this project were to quantify the changes in fuctionality during maturation of cheese and to develop an understanding of the factors which mediate the development of functionality. The approach to achieving these objectives involved the establishment of a suitable pilot plant production procedure for low moisture Mozzarella, developing and/or adapting existing methods for objective evaluation of the functional properties of pizza cheeses, and evaluating the effects of ripening and variations in cheesemaking conditions (e.g. pH at stretching) on the composition, yield and functionality of low moisture Mozzarella cheese. The main conclusions were as follows: The technology for developing low moisture Mozzarella cheeses, with different compositions and functionalities, via alteration of cheesemaking parameters, has been developed. A database has been established on the storage-related changes that occur in texture, proteolysis and functionality of low moisture Mozzarella cheeses of different compositions. In addition an extensive database on the compositional, biochemical, microstructural, rheological and/or functional properties of different commerical cheeses - low moisture Mozzarella, Cheddar and analogue pizza cheese, has been compiled. The functionality of low moisture Mozzarella changes markedly on storage/ripening at 4ºC. Initially, during the first 5-10 days of storage, the functionality of the baked cheese is poor but then improves on further storage as reflected by reductions in melt time and apparent viscosity (chewiness) and increases in stretchability and flowability. The changes in functionality are mediated by storage-related increases in pH, proteolysis, protein-bound water and free oil in the cheese. On prolonged storage (e.g. > 60 d at 4ºC), the cheese functionality becomes impaired as the shredded cheese develops an increased susceptibility to clumping/balling which makes it difficult to dispense the cheese onto the pizza pie and achieve a uniform surface distribution. Moreover, the baked cheese tends to exude excess free oil and loses its desired level of chewiness attaining a 'soupy' consistency. Novel methods were developed/adapted to objectively quantify functionality in the raw (susceptibility of shredded cheese to clump) and cooked (stretchability, chewiness, viscoelasticity) cheeses.
    • Effects of Seasonal Variation in Milk Composition on the Quality of Pizza Cheese

      Guinee, Timothy P.; O'Brien, Bernadette; Kelly, Paul M; Connolly, J.F. (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)
      The main aims of this study were to investigate the effects of diet and lactation stage on the composition and cheesemaking quality of milk produced under controlled conditions. The main conclusions were as follows: These studies clearly demonstrated that the Recommended Moorepark Milk Production System in conjunction with an objectively standardised cheesemaking process provides a model for year round production of quality Mozzarella cheese. Databases have been established on the effects of diet quantity and quality, and stage of lactation on the composition, processability and cheesemaking characteristics of milk from both Spring- and Autumn-calving herds. Increasing the daily herbage allowance from 16 to 24 kgs DM/cow/day during mid-lactation, resulted in increases in the level of milk casein and cheese yield but had little influence on cheese functionality. Similarily improving diet quality in mid-lactation by reducing the stocking density from 4.3 to 3.8 cows/ha combined with concentrate supplementation (3 kgs/cow/day) had the same effect. Using milk from a Spring-calving herd, produced according to the Recommended Moorepark Milk Production System, in conjunction with an objectively-standardised Mozzarella cheesemaking process, no major problems were encountered during the lactation period 170 - 273 days from calving. Extending the lactation period of the Spring-calving herd from ~ 273 to 286 days resulted in higher cheese moisture (by ~ 2%), softer cheese, and lower chewiness in the melted cheese. A sharp decline in both total protein, casein and lactose in the milk was observed during this period. However the blending of this milk with milk of an Autumn-calving herd overcame these cheesemaking problems. The yield of low moisture Mozzarella cheese (using milks from Spring- or Autumn-calved herds) was positively correlated with milk casein level. The yield of cheese from the Spring-calved herd increased concomitantly with increasing casein level to day 273 of lactation and decreased thereafter as the casein concentration declined. In these studies it was found that easy-to-use tests such as lactose level in the milk and rennet coagulation properties as determined by Formagraph were useful indicators of the suitability of milk for cheesemaking. The Recommended Moorepark Milk Production System, as applied in the late lactation period, was characterised by a high plane of nutrition and a drying-off strategy which ensured a minimum daily milk yield per cow of 9 kg. It resulted in milk of good cheesemaking quality - lactose > 4.25%, and casein > 2.6% and satisfactory rennet coagulation properties - curd firming rate of > 0.15 min ¯¹ curd firmness at 60 min of > 45mm - at the end of lactation.
    • Enhancement of pigmeat quality by altering pre-slaughter management

      Lawlor, Peadar G; Lynch, P Brendan; Mullane, J.; Kerry, Joseph P.; Hogan, S.A.; Allen, Paul (Teagasc, 25/10/2005)
      The studies presented in this report were conducted to investigate the effect of breed, slaughter weight, castration of male pigs and strategic feeding strategies on the performance of pigs to slaughter and on their carcass quality. The effect of breed, gender and feeding regimen on the performance of pigs and their carcass quality was examined in the first study (Section 3). From weaning to slaughter Landrace-sired pigs grew at a similar rate but had a better feed conversion efficiency compared with Duroc-sired pigs. Landrace-sired pigs also had a higher carcass lean and greater muscle depth than Duroc-sired pigs. Entire male pigs grew more efficiently, had lower lean content in their carcasses and had a reduced kill out yield when compared with gilts. The eye muscle depth was greater for gilts than entire males. Diluting the diet with grass-meal (GM) reduced growth rate, caused a deterioration in feed conversion efficiency, reduced back fat thickness, reduced eye muscle thickness and reduced kill out yield compared to the control feeding regimen of a cereal based diet. Compensatory growth was observed during a re-alimentation period following a period of diet dilution with grass-meal. However, where it did occur, in most cases it was only partial. Adding 5% rapeseed oil instead of lard to the finisher diet increased nitrogen utilization efficiency and phosphorous utilization efficiency. The effect of gender (boar, castrate, gilt) and slaughter weight (80 to 120kg) on pig performance, carcass quality, meat quality, and nitrogen excretion was investigated in the second study (Section 4). Boars grew faster than gilts and more efficiently than castrates or gilts. Castrates had a higher kill out yield than boars. Nitrogen excretion from castrates was similar to gilts which were both higher than that from boars. The processing value of carcasses from castrates may be higher than that of boars and gilts. In particular castrates had heavier loins and bellies than either boars or gilts. Carcasses from castrates and gilts had a higher temperature (recorded 24 hours post slaughter) than boars. However, pH24 was not affected by gender. The intramuscular fat content of the l. dorsi in castrates was higher than that of boars or gilts, however at 1.65% this was well below the level (2.0%) above which any noticeable sensory attributes might be detected. Feed intake increased with increasing slaughter weight and feed conversion efficiency deteriorated. N excretion also increased with each increment in weight. Carcass lean content increased up to 90kg live EOP 4939.doc 4 25/10/2005 weight then reached a plateau and declined after 110kg live weight. Heavier carcasses yielded more product for approximately the same slaughtering cost and the associated larger muscles could make it easier to use seam butchery techniques that result in lean, well-trimmed, attractive cuts and joints. The pH45 and pH24 were reduced with increasing slaughter weight and drip loss increased. Heavier pigs may be more prone to the development of PSE than lighter pigs as their carcass temperature remains higher for longer than that of lighter pigs.
    • Enhancement of the Nutritional Value and Eating Quality of Beef

      Moloney, Aidan P; Monahan, Frank J; Noci, F.; Murray, Brendan; Troy, Declan J. (Teagasc, 2004-01-01)
      Consumer interest in the nutritional aspects of health has increased interest in developing methods to manipulate the fatty acid composition of ruminant products. Ruminant meats such as beef and lamb are often criticised by nutritionists for having high amounts of saturated fatty acids (S) and low polyunsaturated fatty acids (P).The P:S ratio in beef is approximately 0.1, the ideal being about 0.4. This project is part of a larger EU-supported project entitled Healthy Beef (Enhancing the content of beneficial fatty acids in beef and improving meat quality for the consumer: QLRT-CT-2000-31423). The Teagasc contribution, which was a collaboration between Grange Research Centre and The National Food Centre, focussed on nutritional manipulation of beef cattle. In particular, on exploiting grazing and fishoil as tools to enhance the concentration of “healthy” fatty acids in beef. The conclusions were: • The beneficial effect of a grazed grass-based diet on the fatty acid composition of beef was confirmed • The scale of this beneficial effect is strongly dependent on the duration of grazing • The optimum concentration of beneficial fatty acids was not achieved suggesting that feeding management prior to grazing is important • Grazing influenced beef colour and drip-loss in a durationdependent manner • Animals finished off grass for 40 or 98 days produced meat that was tougher than that from animals finished on silage and concentrates or fed grass for the last 158 days. • Fish oil supplementation enhanced the concentration in beef, of fatty acids that are beneficial to human health • The linear response to increasing level of fish oil consumption indicates scope to further enhance the concentrations of beneficial fatty acids in beef Wilting of grass prior to ensiling did not impact negatively on the overall content of n-3P in muscle, but it increased the concentration of conjugated linoleic acid • Dietary inclusion of fish oil or wilting of grass prior to ensiling did not affect muscle appearance • Fish oil seemed to increase tenderness but only at the high level of inclusion. This merits further study • There was some evidence that wilting of grass prior to ensiling enhanced meat tenderness. This needs to be confirmed.
    • Enhancing the healthiness, shelf-life and flavour of Irish fresh packaged beef

      Moloney, Aidan P; Murray, Brendan; Troy, Declan J.; O'Grady, Michael; Kerry, Joseph P.; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 2007-02)
      Consumer concern about the nutritional aspects of health has heightened interest in developing methods for manipulation of the fatty acid composition of ruminant products. Ruminant meats such as beef and lamb are often criticised by nutritionists for having high amounts of saturated (S) fatty acids and low levels of polyunsaturated (P) fatty acids. The P:S ratio in beef is approximately 0.1, the ideal being about 0.4. However, an excessive increase in P concentration could predispose beef lipids to rancidity and loss of shelflife. Moreover, the colour of meat is an important influence on the purchase decision of the consumer. This report summarises the Teagasc contribution to a larger project supported under the Food Institutional Research Measure programme administrated by the Department of Agriculture and Food. The Teagasc contribution focused on enhancing the fatty acid composition of beef by nutritional manipulation of cattle using grazing and plant oils, the use of healthy - fatty acid enriched bovine tissue to make a processed beef product and the efficacy of dietary inclusion of tea catechins and rosemary to enhance the shelf-life of beef.
    • Enhancing the tenderness of beef

      Troy, Declan J. (Teagasc, 1999-02)
      This project investigated various methods which had potential to increase beef tenderness and was also aimed at elucidating the biochemical mechanism underlying the improved tenderness.
    • Enterococci in Food Fermentations: Functional and Safety Aspects

      Cogan, Tim; Rea, Mary C.; Drinan, Finbarr; Gelsomino, R. (Teagasc, 2001-04-01)
      Enterococci are natural residents of the human and animal gastrointestinal tracts; many species are also found in soil, plants and food. These organisms also form an important part of the microflora of many cheeses, especially those made in Southern Europe, where they can reach levels of 107 - 108 cfu/g. There is contradictory information on their role in flavour development in cheese with some studies showing that they have a positive effect and others a negative one. Enterococcus faecalis, Ec. faecium and Ec. durans are the important species found in cheese, though recent results from our laboratory show that Ec. casseliflavus may also be important (see below). Many of these species withstand pasteurisation. Their presence in food has been questioned because they are responsible for many nosocomial infections in hospitals. They are also promiscuous and easily transfer antibiotic resistance to other organisms and acquire resistance to vancomycin themselves. Cheddar cheese has a complex microflora and is conducive to growth of many bacteria, especially lactic acid bacteria. Enterococci are facultative anaerobes, which ferment lactose and can grow in high salt concentrations. Therefore, they should grow in cheese if they are present in the raw milk. Phenotypically they can be confused with starter lactococci. Traditionally, they are separated from lactococci by their ability to grow at 45°C and in 6.5% salt. However, these tests have serious drawbacks since some species of enterococci cannot grow at 45°C and some lactococci can grow at 45°C and in 6.5% salt. The effect of enterococci on flavour development in Cheddar cheese has not been studied to any great extent. The overall objectives of this collaborative project were to investigate the taxonomic relationships between food, veterinary and clinical isolates of enterococci, their virulence, their ability to produce toxins, their antibiotic resistance and their technological performance in cheesemaking. The specific objectives of the Moorepark team were to study the co-metabolism of citrate and sugar by enterococci, develop a DNA probe to distinguish between Enterococcus and Lactococcus and evaluate the contribution of enterococci to flavour development in Cheddar cheese.
    • Enzyme Modified Cheese Flavour Ingredients

      Wilkinson, M.G.; Kilcawley, Kieran N; Mulholland, E.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland (Teagasc, 01/09/2000)
      Enzyme-modified cheeses (EMCs) are defined as concentrated cheese flavours produced enzymatically from cheeses of various ages and are principally used as an ingredient in processed foods, where they provide a cost-effective alternative to natural cheese. They can be used as the sole source of cheese flavour to intensify an existing cheese taste, or to impart a specific cheese character to a more bland product. Their main applications are in processed cheese, analogue cheese, cheese spreads, snack foods, soups, sauces, biscuits, dips and pet foods. Their main advantages over other cheese flavour ingredients are: low production costs, consistency, high flavour intensity, diverse flavour range, extended shelf- life, low storage costs and increased functionality. EMCs are generated utilising the same flavour pathways that occur in natural cheese ripening i.e. proteolysis, lipolysis and glycolysis. They are not as easy to differentiate as natural cheeses, as they are characterised by flavour and aroma alone as texture is not a factor in EMC production. The relationship of the flavour of EMCs to the flavour of the corresponding natural cheese remains unclear. This is especially true for Cheddar EMC which is commercially available in a range of Cheddar flavours . Despite the fact that a wide range of commercial EMCs are available, there is very little detailed information available regarding their properties or the specific production processes used. The main objective of this research was to build a knowledge base on EMC products and to utilise this to develop a biotechnological process for the production of improved enzyme modified cheeses for use as flavour ingredients. The strategy was to establish quantitative relationships between the compositional, proteolytic and lipolytic parameters and the sensory characteristics of EMCs. This data would then be used to develop a predictive model for flavour development in EMC production and the subsequent generation of an optimised EMC process enabling the generation of a range of cheese flavours from single or multiple substrates.
    • Escherichia coli 0157:H7: implications for HACCP on the farm and in the abattoir

      Bolton, Declan J.; Byrne, Catriona; Sheridan, James J.; Riordan, Denise C.; European Union (Teagasc, 1999-01)
      Experiments were designed to assess the risks associated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 on the farm, through the abattoir and into the butcher shop. Data was also generated for application in model building and the reliability of pathogen models for predicting pathogen growth in different foods was examined.
    • Establishment of Enabling Technology for Manufacture of Selected Types of Continental and Speciality Cheeses

      Wilkinson, M.G.; Sheehan, Jeremiah J.; Guinee, Timothy P.; Cogan, Tim (Teagasc, 1998-09-01)
      The objectives in the project were the development of the science and technology for speciality cheese manufacture, identification and overcoming of the technical constraints to the manufacture of soft speciality cheeses in Ireland and the development of Moorepark Technology Limited (MTL) pilot plant as an integrated, flexible pre-commercial manufacturing platform with which to evaluate the market for speciality cheese.
    • A European study on animal food & biomedical aspects of E.coli 0157:H7

      Duffy, Geraldine; Garvey, Patricia; Sheridan, James J.; European Union; CT98-3935 (Teagasc, 2002-02)
      Verocytotoxin producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) and, in particular, strains of serogroup O157, have emerged as significant pathogens causing a range of severe and potentially fatal illnesses. The European Union has recognised the threat posed by E coli O157:H7 and the need to devise control strategies based on an understanding of VTEC pathogenicity, transmission, survival and growth. It acknowledges the importance of informing farmers, veterinarians, food producers and health authorities so that each of these groups can act appropriately to reduce the overall hazards posed by these organisms. To contribute to the development and dissemination of effective control strategies, the European Commission funded this Concerted Action Project 1
    • An examination of the molecular mechanisms controlling the tissue accumulation of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in cattle

      Waters, Sinead M.; Hynes, A.C.; Killeen, Aideen P.; Moloney, Aidan P; Kenny, David A. (Teagasc, 01/12/2008)
      Long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) have demonstrable and potential human health benefits in terms of preventing cancer, diabetes, chronic inflammation, obesity and coronary heart disease. Supplementation of cattle diets with a blend of oils rich in n-3 PUFA and linoleic acid have a synergistic effect on the accumulation of ruminal and tissue concentrations of trans vaccenic acid (TVA), the main substrate for ?-9 desaturase which is responsible for de novo tissue synthesis of the cis 9, trans 11 isomer of CLA. This dietary strategy translates into increases in milk concentrations of CLA in dairy cows; however, concentrations in the muscle of beef animals have not always been increased. There is an apparent paradox in that n-3 PUFA supplementation enhances ruminal synthesis of trans-vaccenic acid (TVA), but then inhibits its conversion to CLA possibly through altering the activity of ?-9 desaturase. Recently, the promoter regions of the bovine ?- 9 desaturase gene has been isolated and analysed and has been shown to contain a conserved PUFA response region.
    • Extending the shelf life of fresh sliced mushrooms

      Brennan, Martine H.; Gormley, Ronan T.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Teagasc, 1998-08)
      The Irish mushroom industry is expanding rapidly as is the demand for sliced mushrooms. To increase the competitiveness of Irish mushrooms for export their shelf life should be extended to compensate for the time lost in transit. The aim of this project was to extend the shelf life of sliced mushrooms by 50 % using novel processing treatments and / or packaging. A method was established to assess the effects of different treatments on mushroom quality. This method was followed using solutions of citric acid, hydrogen peroxide, EDTA, nisin, diacetyl, vitamin E, ascorbic acid, rosemary extracts and sodium metabisulphite.
    • Food Authentication using Infrared Spectroscopic Methods

      Downey, Gerard; Kelly, J. Daniel (Teagasc, 01/06/2006)
      Confirmation of the authenticity of a food or food ingredient is an increasing challenge for food processors and regulatory authorities. This is especially the case when an added-value claim, such as one relating to geographic origin or a particular processing history, is made on the food label. Regulatory agencies are concerned with the prevention of economic fraud while the food processor needs confirmation of such claims in order to protect a brand, the image of which could be severely damaged should an adulterated ingredient make its way into the branded food product.To be of greatest value, any analytical tool deployed to confirm authenticity claims needs to be portable, easy to use, non-destructive and accurate. Infrared spectroscopy, near and mid-infrared, is a tool which has been demonstrated to possess these properties in a wide range of situations.While some applications in food authenticity have been reported, the work undertaken in this project was designed to explore their capabilities regarding a number of products and authenticity issues of particular interest to the Irish agri-food industry i.e. olive oil, honey, soft fruit purées and apple juice.
    • Food authentication using infrared spectroscopic methods

      Downey, Gerard; Kelly, J. Daniel (Teagasc, 2006-06)
      Confirmation of the authenticity of a food or food ingredient is an increasing challenge for food processors and regulatory authorities. This is especially the case when an added-value claim, such as one relating to geographic origin or a particular processing history, is made on the food label. Regulatory agencies are concerned with the prevention of economic fraud while the food processor needs confirmation of such claims in order to protect a brand, the image of which could be severely damaged should an adulterated ingredient make its way into the branded food product.
    • Food residue database

      O'Keeffe, Michael; Kennedy, Orla; Farrell, Frank; Nolan, Marie-Louise; Dooley, Martin; Byrne, Patrick; Nugent, Audrey; Cantwell, Helen; Horne, Elizabeth; Nelson, Victor; et al. (Teagasc, 2001-11)
      The Food Residue Database contains a broad range of residue studies in foods of animal origin for the period 1995 to 2000, covering veterinary drugs, pesticides and contaminants. In most cases, such as antiparasitic drugs, beta-agonists, pesticides, dioxins, mycotoxins, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the picture for Irish dairy, meat and fish products is good with residue levels being low or non-measurable. In a few cases, such as ivermectin in farmed salmon and tetracycline residues in pork, improvements in the situation were observed with subsequent studies. Antimicrobial residues, in general, are not a problem but levels above MRL values have been found indicating the need for good practice in use of veterinary medicines. A problem with elevated nitrate levels in dairy powders may be resolved by the industry through observance of good manufacturing practices. Summary Reports on all the studies carried out for the Food Residue Database are available to food companies and other interested parties.
    • Freeze-chilling and gas flushing of raw fish fillets

      Fagan, John; Gormley, Ronan T.; Uí Mhuircheartaigh, Mary M. (Teagasc, 2003-04)
      Freeze-chilling involves freezing and frozen storage followed by thawing and chilled storage. Trials with whiting and mackerel fillets/portions (Part 1) indicated no difference in odour scores (raw samples) between freeze-chilled and chilled samples; however, freeze-chilled salmon portions were inferior to chilled in terms of odour. Fresh fillets received the highest acceptability scores as cooked samples followed by frozen, chilled and freeze-chilled fillets. Freshness indicators were the same for the three species. Freeze-chilled fillets had the highest free fatty acid and peroxide values but the levels were low and did not influence sensory response. The effects of the four treatments on the colour and texture of the raw fillets were small in practical terms and typical shelf-lives in the chill phase of the freeze-chill process were 3 to 5 days. In Part 2, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) was combined with freezechilling to further extend the shelf-life of raw whiting, mackerel and salmon fillets/portions. Typical shelf-lives in the chill phase for the freeze-chilled fillets were 5 (whiting and mackerel) and 7 (salmon) days. Good manufacturing practice coupled with HACCP and careful tempering (thawing) are essential for the successful freeze-chilling of raw fish fillets. Packs should be labelled ‘previously frozen’ for consumer information. It is concluded that freeze-chilling with MAP is a suitable technology for extending the shelf-life of raw fish fillets.
    • Freeze-chilling of ready-to-eat meal components

      Redmond, Grainne; Gormley, Ronan T.; Butler, Francis; Dempsey, Alan; Oxley, Eamon; Gerety, Ailis (Teagasc, 2004-03)
      Freeze-chilling of food consists of freezing and frozen storage followed by thawing and then retailing at chill storage temperatures. It offers logistic, transportation and storage advantages to food manufacturers. Freeze-chilling has particular application to ready-meals and their components. Mashed potato (three cultivars), steamed carrots, steamed green beans and beef lasagne were found suitable for freeze-chilling and their quality and sensory properties compared favourably with their frozen, chilled and fresh counterparts. Modified atmosphere packaging was combined with freeze-chilling but it had little impact on shelflife extension for the product range with the outcome similar to that for samples packed in air. Tests on the freeze-chilling of white sauces showed the importance of using freeze-thaw stable starches. Best-practice thawing procedures were established and the importance of stacking configurations for outer boxes (each with a number of lasagne ready-meals) was highlighted in the case of the commercial tempering unit. Trials on the re-freezing of freeze-chilled products indicated that re-freezing is an option provided the normal storage protocols for frozen and chilled foods are observed.