Food judge

Hi all,Two weeks today I will be a guest judge at the IQFA. It is an honour to be invited and I’m looking forward to attending!! Please see below press release:













Do Your Products Have What It Takes To Win An Irish Quality 

Food or Drink Award?

Entry for 2015 awards now open!


Dishing up another chance for success and industry acclaim, the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards are back for 2015 and calling all retailers, food producers and manufacturers across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. 


These prestigious accolades, now in their third year, set out to recognise excellence in food and drink product development from a wide variety of companies across Ireland.


Once again, the judging will take place over three weeks in July at the Dublin Institute of Technology’s School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology. The results will be announced at a gorgeous gala dinner in the fabulous surroundings of the Round Room at The Mansion House in Dublin on 16 September 2015.


Repeating last year’s trade-media partnership with Retail News magazine, and consumer-media partnership with Easy Food magazine, the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards 2015 place your food and drink products onto the tables you need for success.


The awards themselves are organised into two distinct sections: Quality Food Awards – products for the multiple and independent grocery retail market and Quality Drink Awards – alcoholic drinks for the retail sector. 


Organised by Metropolis Business Media, group publisherHelen Lyons comments: “We are absolutely delighted with the growing success of these awards and so pleased to be organising a just-as-exciting event for 2015. As former winners can testify, picking up an Irish Quality Food and Drink Award is a powerful marketing tool, with many winners using the awards’ logos on their packaging and in national press, television and outdoor advertising.”


“This year we’ve listened to our partners in the industry and introduced new categories which we hope will encourage even more people to enter and enjoy showcasing their success.” 


Entries for the awards, which are once again headline sponsored by innovative packaging company The Benson Group, will be accepted until 1st June 2015 and judging will take place from 1st – 17th July 2015. 


The awards are also sponsored by the Coeliac Society of Ireland, who will play an important role during the stringent judging process of the ‘Free From’ categories, Dairymaid and Invest Northern Ireland.


A selection of shortlisted and winning products, announced in August, will be showcased at the Food & Hospitality Ireland exhibition on September 17th in Dublin.




Hi all. I’m pleased that Tesco are now stocking a pork jerky. Until now I’ve only seen beef jerky (I don’t eat beef). So am well pleased Tesco do it. I had a packet earlier and it was yummy!!
Jerky is lean meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and then dried to prevent spoiling. Normally, this drying includes the addition of salt, to prevent bacteria from developing on the meat before sufficient moisture has been removed. The word “jerky” derived from the Quechua word charki which means “dried, salted meat”. All that is needed to produce basic “jerky” is a low-temperature drying method, and salt to inhibit bacterial growth.
Modern manufactured jerky is normally marinated in a seasoned spice rub or liquid, and dried, dehydrated or smoked with low heat (usually under 70 °C/160 °F). Some product manufacturers finely grind meat, mix in seasonings, and press the meat-paste into flat shapes prior to drying.
The resulting jerky from the above methods would be a salty and/or savory snack. However, often a sweet or semi-sweet recipe is used, with sugar being a major ingredient (in contrast to biltong which is a dried meat product that utilizes the acid in vinegar rather than salt to inhibit bacterial growth when drying the meat). Jerky is ready-to-eat and needs no additional preparation. It can be stored for months without refrigerating . When the protein to moisture content ratio is correct, the resulting meat is cured, or preserved.
There are many products in the marketplace which are sold as jerky which consist of highly processed, chopped and formed meat, rather than traditional sliced, whole-muscle meat. These products may contain more fat, but moisture content, like the whole-muscle product, must meet a 0.75 to 1 moisture to protein ratio in the US.Chemical preservatives can be used to prevent oxidative spoilage, but the moisture to protein ratio prevents microbial spoilage by low water activity. Many jerky products are very high in sugar and are therefore very sweet, unlike biltong, which rarely contains added sugars.
A typical 30 g portion of fresh jerky contains 10–15 g of protein, 1 g of fat, and 0–3 g of carbohydrates, although some beef jerky can have more than 65% of protein content.Since traditional jerky recipes use a basic salt cure, sodium can be a concern for some people. A 30 g serving of jerky could contain more than 600 mg of sodium.