“Game-changing” nitrite-free bacon makes debut in UK


02 Jan 2018 --- Dubbed the “Holy Grail” of bacon that is “made without nitrites or other nasties,” the people behind Naked Bacon, Finneabrogue, are getting ready for the launch of the new product in UK retailers next week. 

From January 10, nitrite-free Naked Bacon will be on the shelves amid a fanfare that claims to be revolutionizing the British staple meat driven by Finnebrogue’s claims that the average person in the UK consumes more than three kilos of bacon every year.

And as processed meats can increase the risk of cancer, Finnebrogue says it has come up with a new way to produce bacon without using nitrites.
Instead, food innovators at the Northern Irish artisan food manufacturer have created a unique blend of Mediterranean fruit and spice extracts for a “delicious bacon flavor.”
It will be the UK’s only bacon to be completely free from nitrites, preservatives, E numbers and all allergens, according to the company.
Major bacon breakthrough
One of UK’s top food scientists hails this as a major step forward for food safety as the technological breakthrough eliminates dangerous nitrites, the first of its kind to be made without the potentially cancer-causing chemicals. Professor Chris Elliott, who ran the Government’s investigation into the 2013 horsemeat scandal and now chairs the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, is backing the nitrite-free bacon.
“Many forms of processed foods have come under the spotlight over recent years for their unhealthy attributes. Processed red meat, in particular, has been a focal point,” he saya.
“Finnebrogue has used a combination of innovation and natural fruit and spice extracts to come up with a bacon that is made without the need for added nitrites. Nitro containing compounds, used in the manufacture of traditional bacon, are known to cause the formation of chemicals that have negative health impacts.”
“To have a bacon produced naturally, that doesn’t require such chemicals to be added or formed during processing, is a very welcome development.”
Naked Bacon has also been given a nod by Neil Parish MP, the chairman of the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee, who says it is great news for the British food industry. “Making bacon without nitrites – and reducing the risk in the famous full English breakfast – is a remarkable feat of food technology and a brilliant British success story,” he said.
“This is further evidence that the British food industry is going from strength to strength. UK firms like Finnebrogue are leading the way in producing some of the best food anywhere in the world.”
A new way of flavoring bacon
Finnebrogue, currently a leading sausage and venison supplier to top UK supermarkets, has worked with a Spanish chemist to develop the new way of flavoring traditional British bacon without nitrites with the natural flavor produced from natural Mediterranean fruit and spice extracts, following ten years of research and development.
The flavor is currently being used in continental style hams in the European Union, but this will be the first time the technology has been applied to British bacon and available to UK consumers, following a £14 million (US$19 million) initial investment from Finnebrogue.
“The problem with bacon is dead simple. Bacon contains nitrites, nitrites produce nitrosamines in your gut and nitrosamines are carcinogenic. Nitrites should not be in food,” said Denis Lynn, Finnebrogue chairman.
“I’ve been all over the world to figure out a way to make bacon without nitrites – and up to now, we’d never made a single rasher of bacon because we couldn’t work out how to do it. For more than a decade, I have insisted we not touch bacon until such time as we can make it better and safer – and now we have.”
“Our Naked Bacon is not only safer than any other bacon on the market, it also tops the charts in blind taste tests. This really is the biggest revolution to the British breakfast for a generation.”
Juan de Dios Hernandez Canovas, Chief Executive of the Spanish company Prosur which developed the new technology, says he’s delighted to have an exclusive partnership with Finnebrogue to bring bacon made without nitrites onto the UK market for the first time.
“Our processing technology and natural flavoring mean nitrites are no longer required in processed meats,” he said.
“It has been a privilege to work with Denis Lynn and his team at Finnebrogue. We are both on a mission to make food as safe as it can possibly be – and we have done it together with traditional British bacon.”
The purpose of adding nitrites is to give cured meat its characteristic pink color, texture, some flavor and also to help as a preservative. The new natural flavoring being used in Naked Bacon has a similar effect but does not contain the health risks.
“We are very excited that the nitrite-free bacon is being launched in the UK market and we truly believe that this will be the start to conquer the UK market with more clean label meat products,” Simon Claessens, Prosur tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“We notice a growing interest from the market. Consumers are more and more concerned with what they eat and rightfully so.”
“I can tell you that this technology can be applied to all meat products were nitrite is used conventionally: from cooked products to fermented products.”
“Prosur is active around the globe in well-known brands. In the UK however, we are currently exclusively working with Finnebrogue for bacon, ham and gammon. Prosur and Finnebrogue share the same DNA. We don't cut corners and we both believe that the most interesting way to do business is to bring consumers new, healthier foods that do not contain conventional chemicals and do not compromise on quality or the consumer’s health.”
Claessens adds how the process and the ingredients of the products are a “well-kept trade secret that is under strict supervision of the European health authorities.”
As well as Naked Bacon, Finnebrogue will be bringing Naked Ham to market. The first packets of Naked Bacon will be in supermarkets on January 10, 2018, while Naked Ham launches on January 15.
Finnebrogue is producing nitrite-free bacon for Marks and Spencer who will be packaging the product in its own brand.
“We know that our customers care about their health and are increasingly looking for healthier options for themselves and their families,” says Kirsty Adams, Marks and Spencer product developer.
“We have worked closely with Finnebrogue throughout their innovation on Nitrite Free bacon, to ensure our own brand recipe is a fantastic tasting bacon without compromise on flavor – as our customers would expect.”
“We are very excited to be the first to launch an own brand with a back and streaky bacon and will be looking to follow this up with cooked hams in the very near future.”
By Gaynor Selby

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