Middlesex manufacturer Snowbirds Foods has launched a new range of sausages aimed at the health sector of the market.
Based on the company's Gourmet Plus range of frozen, fully cooked sausages - which have a minimum meat content of 85% - the new healthy varities are high in fibre, low in salt, reduced fat and both dextrose and gluten free.
New product development manager Jason Drage said that natural starches were used to partially offset the loss of taste and texture resulting from the removal of fat and salt, but the removal of dextrose - which adds sweetness and gives sausages their golden brown appearance - posed a bigger challenge.
"We tried all manner of sugars and other solutions without success and then worked with every variety of honey we could find. Only one worked and it took us three months to find it," he said.
The new Cumberland and Lincolnshire lines have already proved popular during test marketing through pub chain and retail ready meals. Drange added that the formulation also worked well with flavours such as pork and leek.
Snowbird Foods prides itself on its new product development department, which operates from a state-of-the-art £100,000 N.P.D Suite that is fitted with bowl cutters, mincers, mixers, extruders and formers, a Teflon belt cooker, a steaming and roasting oven, a griddle, deep fryers and an industrial microwave to replicate all cooking and production facilities.