An Interview with Flavorseal’s Director of Research and Development Jim Smith
With the rising demand for flavor and convenience in packaged proteins, the popularity of protein seasoning methods like Flavorseal’s seasoning transfer technology have increased significantly in recent years. To understand more about this evolution, we asked Director of Research and Development Jim Smith to answer a few questions about the trend to add flavor to proteins.
You’ve been involved in the development of seasoning transfer technology products since the beginning. What was the technology like then?
Our first seasoning transfer products, introduced in 2011, were spiced sheets that could be cut to almost any size or shape. This was before the world went to bold flavors, so our spice blends were more traditional, like Garlic Herb or Southwest.
When seasoning transfer was introduced, plant managers were excited to learn about this unique new technology as a replacement for manual spice application methods. At the same time, many of them had questions about how to use the sheets efficiently in their existing processes.
Flavorseal’s seasoning transfer technology now comprises a full range of products for various applications. See how the line has grown here.
What questions did plant managers have?
When we started out, we were only able to produce clipped pieces. The move to shirred casings was a huge step forward, although at first we were only able to produce at shorter lengths. To operations managers, shorter length meant more changeovers, which limited the product’s usefulness.
Now that we are able to provide longer length shirred casings, seasoning transfer is truly a time- and cost-saving technology for most plants.
What about flavors/spices? Have you seen any changes in flavors over the years?
There is always a demand for the more traditional flavors with proteins. But we’ve also received requests to match bold flavor trends you see in grocery stores. We’ve figured out how to combine flavors so bold flavors like jalapeno or habanero balance good taste with heat. The most exciting evolution in this technology is having developed the ability to incorporate a much greater range of spices and seasonings. This is through a combination of our improved techniques and strategic partnerships with our spice providers. Today, these partners know exactly what we need to be successful in our process. This opens up a world of possibilities.
What do you predict for the future of seasoning transfer technology?
I think the technology will only continue to become more useful and cost-effective for producers through improvements like longer shirr lengths. You will also see refinements in our process to allow for a more hand-applied look to the spice.
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