Chilled Sliced Meats Failing to Meet Sodium Reduction Targets

A recent report by Action on Salt has revealed that 25% of chilled sliced meat products sold within the UK are saltier than Atlantic Sea water.

The research was conducted by Queen Mary University of London and took into consideration sliced meats sold in leading grocery stores. These meats included household favourites such as ham, chicken, salami, and corned beef.

1/3rd of meats fail to meet sodium reduction targets

1 in 3 of these meats failed to meet the national salt reduction targets and were considered dangerously high in salt.

Action on Salt have criticised efforts made by manufacturers and food companies, expressing that not enough has been done to reduce the levels of salt in food. Even after the salt targets were set in 2006.

Considering all products reviewed in the research, the salt content varied between 0.26g and 6g per 100g, showing a huge difference between product ranges. The levels averaged at around 2.1% per 100g, taking up 65% of the range selected. Only four products were considered as low salt content.

Sonia Pombo, Campaign Manager for Action on Salt, said:

“Why are these everyday sliced meats, which are frequently consumed by children, so high in salt when it is clearly not required for taste or food safety? Whilst some salt may be needed in processed meat, there is scope for extensive reductions, as demonstrated by some of the more responsible companies.

There’s no excuse. Other manufacturers must now follow their lead and put their customer’s health first.”

Sodium Reduction Targets can be met

Even the most challenging of applications can achieve a successful reduction in sodium with a simple switch, including in charcuterie meats such as prosciutto and chorizo.

Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, and Chairman of Action on Salt, said:

“Reducing salt is the most cost-effective measure to lower blood pressure and reduce the number of people suffering from strokes and heart disease and life changing disabilities associated with this – all of which is completely avoidable. It’s a disgrace that food companies continue to fill our food with so much salt when there is the option to reformulate, which our research shows can easily be done. The Government needs to force the industry to comply, to ensure that many thousands of people don’t die unnecessarily.”

Sodium replacement technology such as Smart Salt® is key to successful reformulation. It offers a 1:1 replacement for regular salt and offers the same taste and functionality. In some applications it can also extend shelf life because of the magnesium ions in Smart Salt® slowing microbiological growth.

Simply replace your regular salt for the same quantity of Smart Salt® and achieve up to 60% reduction in sodium levels. Research even shows that some find the taste profile even more flavoursome with Smart Salt®.

If you are ready to investigate options regarding sodium reduction, talk to the team today on or 01386 761 555 for a sample of Smart Salt®. See first-hand how it can help improve the nutritional profile of your product.


Brusco Food Group announce exclusive partnership with Smart Salt® bringing patented Sodium Reduction Technology to UK food manufacturers and food service.

Brusco Food Group are excited to announce their exclusive UK partnership with Smart Salt® to help companies meet the new 2024 sodium reduction targets announced in September 2020 by Public Health England.

Smart Salt® is a sodium reduction system based on patented technology from Finland. It enables sodium reduction of up to 60% without compromising on taste or product performance.

“Smart Salt® has a very successful application record in a broad category of food products. Its success can be attributed to its technological functionality that often mirrors regular salt” comments Dr. Helen Mitchell, Consulting Director Smart Salt® Oy.

It is clear more action needs to be taken in the UK to reduce sodium in our diets to address many of the health issues associated with high blood pressure. Regularly eating too much salt puts us at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure which is the main risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for heart attack. Over 16 million people in the UK have high blood pressure.

Available from the 1st February 2021, Smart Salt® offers perfect taste optimisation with no bitter or metallic aftertaste. Consumer acceptability data indicates a high degree of acceptability at very low sodium levels.

The benefits of using Smart Salt® goes much further than just reducing sodium. The formulation also includes high levels of magnesium balancing minerals for heart health.

Where other sodium reduction systems fail, Smart Salt® excels. Extensive application testing has proven its effectiveness in challenging applications including bread, cheese, meat, ready-to-eat meals, and seasonings. Smart Salt® offers preservative and technological functions reducing the need for extensive product and process development. A flexible composition means Smart Salt® can be easily adapted to meet your requirements from 10-60% sodium reduction.

Andrew Ashby from Brusco Food Group says “We are always looking at innovative products that tackle the major challenges in our food supply chain. While businesses have been addressing sodium reduction for many years, driving further sodium reduction without impacting product functionality and/or taste is becoming harder. We believe the proven capability of Smart Salt® will provide significant opportunities for food companies to meet the new voluntary targets announced in September 2020 by Public Health England which call for further reductions of up to 20% by 2024”.

Later this year Smart Salt® will broaden its reach into the consumer marketplace with a range of gourmet condiment blends designed to help consumers and chefs reduce sodium intake. This will be launched under the Suölo™ brand. More information is available at

For more information on Smart Salt® and how it can enhance your range, contact the team on or 01386 761555.


Dried Fruit Ingredients: Christmas the right way

Classic Christmas treats are highly competitive. Every retail brand has their own version of Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding, Minced Pies, Cranberry Sauce and Stuffing.

In order to compete, your produce needs to be delicious, innovative, great quality and competitively priced. Meaning your basic Christmas ingredients need to have the same qualities.

What are the main Christmas ingredients?

The main flavours of Christmas are warming, spicy, sweet and filled with Christmas nostalgia. From spiced drinks to fruity sauces the mix of sweet vs savoury has been perfected over decades.

‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire’

As you walk through town centres during November/December, you will catch the scent of roasted chestnuts.

They add texture and flavour to many dishes, whether you want to enjoy them whole as a snack, in your puddings or chopped up in your stuffing mix.

‘Oranges and lemons, Say the bells of St. Clement’s’

Zesty warming flavours fill every dish at Christmas. They infuse festive cocktails, sharpen a sweet treat or add a delicious warmth to your duck, goose or turkey.

From orange to lemon, ginger to lime, these beautiful flavours add a real punch of flavour.

Quality bulk buy dried fruit ingredients

Good quality dried fruit is crucial to Christmas dining. It appears in many Christmas recipes from your classic mince pies to the all-important Christmas cake and pudding.

Here at Brusco Food Group, we can provide you with bulk buy high quality dried fruit ingredients.

Our range includes a selection of dried sultanas, raisins and currants along with our delicious crystallised ginger.

Sultanas, raisins and currants

Perfect for sweet and savoury dishes, our sultanas, raisins and currants are naturally high in sugar, juicy and tangy and packed full of fibre, potassium and powerful antioxidants.

Apricots and dates

Apricots and dates are fantastic for festive baking including cookies and festive loafs or within condiments such as chutneys.

Our dried apricots are available diced in 5 – 8mm to suit your requirements. They can be bought in bulk in 12.5 kilo bags.

The diced dates add a delicious caramel-esq/jam-like  flavour to your recipe. Sold in 10 kilo bags, they will beautifully enhance your next bake.

Crystallised Ginger

Ginger brings a delicious hit of warmth and heat to festive dishes.

Did you know, it can also be added to fruit salad for a spicy, zesty lift or added to cranberry sauce along with orange zest.

Our crystallised ginger comes in 4 x 5 kilo bags.

Festive spices

Along with herbs that season our meat and vegetables, spices play a huge part of our festive dining.

As well as the traditional Christmas baking, spices such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon are all used within seasoning, festive cocktails and to added to sauces.

Soak in the best quality alcohol

The only way you can make our dried fruit even better, is to soak in a good quality alcohol.

Our range of bulk buy spirits and liquors are tested and tasted to perfection ready to add even more flavour to your creation.

If you are looking for brandy for your brandy butter, whisky and rum for your sauces or wine for your stock and gravy, we have a beautiful selection to enjoy.

Gluten free Christmas ingredients

Our dried fruit ingredients, alcohol and herbs/spices selection all come with a gluten free alternative.

Many of these ingredients are naturally gluten free, but some factories, storage units and production lines can create cross contamination.

As part of our testing and research process, we make sure that the lines are clear of any gluten, so they are safe from these allergens.

Talk to the team about Christmas ingredients

If you are interested in any of our range of dried fruit, herbs and spices, ginger or bulk buy alcohol please get in touch with the team.

We are ready to talk Christmas all year round, so give them a call on 01386 761555 or email


International Beer Day – Gluten free beer marinade

In celebration of #InternationalBeerDay we have been dreaming and discussing our favourite beer inspired recipes; from beer battered fish to mussels in a beer and bacon sauce.

One that almost made me want to ditch the laptop and pop open the BBQ straight away was the idea of beer marinated steaks…

Gluten free marinade

Our beer marinade is gluten and worry free. No flavour is compromised, but if you don’t have gluten free beer or coconut aminos, you can swap for your usual beer and either a soy or teriyaki sauce.

For additional gluten free ingredients, check out our allergen free alternative blog for a more inclusive diet.

Time to marinade

The key to a good marinade, apart from good quality ingredients is to be patient. If you leave your meat or vegetables to marinade overnight the flavour intensifies.

If you are BBQ’in tonight, try and leave your meat to soak up those beautiful flavours for at least half hour to an hour. You won’t be sorry!

Time to bring out the BBQ!

This recipe can of course also be cooked on a grill, but at the time of posting the weather was glorious and BBQ was our preferred method of cooking.

Ingredients… it couldn’t be simpler

  • This gluten free beer marinade works so well with a couple steaks, but if you have some honey, it could also be delicious on ribs!
  • 59ml Dark Beer (gluten free)
  • 2 tbsp Coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder

Let the marinade begin!

  • 12 hours before, place your steaks in a large dish and use a fork to poke in some holes in the surface
  • Mix your dark beer, coconut aminos and brown sugar
  • Pour mixture over your steaks
  • Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides
  • Cover and leave in the fridge overnight

Time to sizzle

  • Get that BBQ nice and hot! We want strong grill lines running across those beautiful steaks
  • Remove your steak from the marinade and add the juices into a saucepan to reduce
  • Add your steak to the BBQ and fry for 3 minutes each side (depending on preference and thickness of steak)
  • During the last minute of cooking, baste your steak with the reduced marinade for added flavour

Serve with a nice salad, some corn or more meat!

For more information on the ingredients in this gluten free marinade talk to our team on 01386 761555 or

MEAT (see what we did there?) our alcohol specialist Phil Hussey…

Phil looks after our alcohol selection at Brusco Food Group. He is the specialist to go to if you are looking for a beer for your marinade, wine for your pasta sauce or rum for your ice cream. Talk to him today by emailing



Unpredictable Market for Garlic Ingredients

June 2020 saw a good harvest and yield for Chinese garlic, offering an output of 8 – 8.5 million MT. Levels similar to those last seen in 2018.

Because of the excess volume in garlic, prices at the start of the season were low which triggered earlier international buying activity.

The high quality of the crop resulted in a limited supply of smaller bulbs, which dehydrators typically would use. Dehydrators have had to resort to using the readily available larger bulbs to fulfil demand, pushing up the flake prices.

In mid-June the market started to firm and prices climbed rapidly in reaction to the early surge in purchasing. Compared with the lowest level on the 1st June, pricing for garlic is currently 30% higher.

How can Brusco help with your garlic ingredients needs?

Here at Brusco Food Group we have a fantastic selection of powdered garlic, dehydrated minced garlic and garlic puree, ready for your production preference.

Powdered Garlic

Typically found in seasoning, gravy and dry rubs, this beautifully aromatic powder adds incredible flavour to meats or vegetables. Produced by dehydrating and grounding the garlic to a fine powder ready for use.

Dehydrated Minced Garlic

Long lasting, great tasting and easily added to all savoury dishes, our dehydrated minced garlic is highly popular when it comes to ready meals. Perfect within soups, stews and pastas.

Garlic Puree

Beautiful rich in flavour and smooth in texture, our garlic puree is used within spreads, sauces and casserole style dishes.

Not only does the puree add flavour, but it also takes away the hassle of skinning and crushing of cloves. It also saves hands from that ever-lasting garlic smell. Our garlic puree’s come in either ambient cooked or raw.

We offer stable prices during a turbulent Garlic Ingredients Market

Here at Brusco Food Group we are currently holding garlic stock which we are offering at competitive prices.

Talk to our team today 01386 761 555 or email to discuss your garlic ingredients requirements.

Allergen free ingredients: Let’s help broaden your range

Allergies are very common within the UK, with 1 in 4 people being affected at some point in their lives. Some have very minor symptoms and suffer for years without treatment, for others it can be a real health risk; every label must be read, ingredients checked and people around them notified.

Many recipes contain allergens, which make them unsafe to eat for those who suffer with allergies leaving their choices in food limited.

What are allergen free ingredients?

Allergen free or ‘allergen safe’ means that the food you are consuming or producing is free from detectable levels of allergens known for creating uncomfortable or health related symptoms.

They are free from the top 14 EU recognised allergens, which include: celery, gluten based cereals (oats and barley), fish, crustaceans (crabs, prawns and lobsters), molluscs (oysters and mussles), eggs, lupin, milk, , mustard, peanuts, sesame, soybeans, sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than 10 PPM – parts per million) and tree nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, brazil nuts, pistachios and macadamia nuts).

Allergen free alternatives you can use in your produce?

There are many ingredients that consumers don’t expect to contain allergens. From alcohols to herbs and spices, they really can appear in many forms.

How great would it be if your customers could enjoy their favourite dishes, without worry and without losing some of the most vital flavours.

If you are looking to make your range more inclusive, here are some alternative ingredients to think about…

Coconut Aminos instead of soy sauce

Soy sauce is found in many products including flavourings, meat substitutes, frozen meals, Asians foods, peanut butters, condiments plus many more.

It is produced using two of the top eight allergen ingredients; soybeans and wheat.

The distinctive sweet, salty umami taste of soy is created with a clever delicate balance of components, which can be closely replicated using coconut amino’s.

Coconut aminos have over 70% less sodium than soy. It’s gluten free, soy free and utterly delicious; already winning over a selection of our customers.

It can be used in many recipes, whether it’s a simple salad dressing, within a sauce or to add flavour to ready meals and home recipes.

Coconut milk instead of cow’s milk

Coconut milk can be a delicious, creamy replacement for cow’s milk or cream. Possibly not within tea, but great for a flavoured coffee. Also fantastic in smoothies, ice creams, iced drinks, curries or puddings.

We have used coconut milk instead of dairy in our latest vegan chestnut cheesecake recipe, why not try it for yourself?

Note: In the US, coconuts are recognised as a tree nut, therefore are considered an allergen. This is not the case for the European market.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is one of the most common allergens, causing many uncomfortable symptoms until treated.

It is a type of protein found in various grains including rye, wheat and barley and most commonly used to make a product light and spongy in texture, including bread.

Many think going gluten free is great for weight loss, however this isn’t always the case. It is more beneficial when used as part of a long-term eating plan for consumers with gluten intolerance, sensitivity or coeliac disease.

What is the difference between coeliac disease and gluten intolerance?

Coeliac disease is an immune disorder which attacks the tissue of the small intestine over a long period of time. It leads to long term damage such osteoporosis, iron deficiency anaemia and vitamin B12 and folate deficiency anaemia.

Symptoms of coeliac disease includes stomach ache, diarrhoea, indigestion, constipation and bloating.

Gluten intolerance is a fairly common issue throughout the UK and worldwide and is characterised by a reaction to gluten. It offers similar symptoms to coeliac disease, but without the long term affects as it’s an allergy rather than a autoimmune disease.

A gluten free diet is the best way to control the symptoms of both coeliac disease and gluten intolerance.

How do you know if something is gluten free?

Gluten levels in food and drink are measured by PPM – parts per million.

Food that contains between 21 – 100 ppm is described as very low gluten, meaning they are OK for those who are intolerant. Food that is 20 ppm or less is gluten free and safe for those with coeliac disease.

Many ingredients are naturally gluten free, however their production environment runs the risk of cross contamination.

Our gluten free ranges are produced and packed in a gluten free environment, meaning you can cook and create with sound peace of mind.

Gluten free alcohol

Distilled alcohols such as vodka, bourbon, whiskey and scotch are great for making sauces, glazes, and sweet confections. They adapt texture, add flavour and offer real depth to a recipe.

We offer a great selection of branded and unbranded gluten free distilled alcohols, ready for use.

As well as being produced in a contaminated environment, certain wines also use a gluten fining process. The barrels they are stored in can at times be sealed with a wheat paste, meaning some wines you are drinking contain gluten.

You may be surprised to know, wine isn’t always vegan friendly either! Talk to the team about our vegan and gluten friendly wines so you can add extra flavour to your recipe.

Traditional beers, lagers and ales use wheat as their basic grain, meaning many of them contain gluten. Gluten free beers are available as they are based with cereals such as rice, corn, buckwheat or millet.

Whether you want a Merlot for your chilli, a beer to add flavour to your pie or a splash of brandy for your sauce, we have gluten free options to suit.

Gluten free herbs and spices

In their natural state, herbs and spices are gluten free. However, in some cases, they can be contaminated with wheat flour or starch to lower costs.

Our range of herbs and spices are wheat free, and safe to use within your upcoming taste sensation.

Gluten free seeds

Seeds are fantastic for helping boost food processor’s capability to create snacks and baked goods that are rich in nutrients.

Our range of gluten free seeds includes millet, pumpkin, linseed, chia, sunflower, buckwheat, nigella, sesame and caraway, plus many more.

Not only can they offer a new way to improve the health benefits of your produce, but they also add fantastic texture and flavour.

Talk to us about allergen free ingredients

There has been a huge shift in the food industry towards companies being aware of food intolerance and dietary requirements.

Customers are interested in what is going into their food and companies are adapting their production and ingredients to suit.

Variety is very important to our team at Brusco. We make sure our range includes allergen free, vegan friendly and choices between ambient and frozen products.

Talk to the team today on +44 (0) 1386 761555 or to discuss alternative ingredients to make your range more inclusive for customers with dietary requirements.

Introducing: Ambient Onions

We are excited to announce that we have expanded our onions range and are now offering ambient onions alongside our dehydrated and frozen range.

Available chopped, pureed or caramelised, our new range is ideal for those looking to take a step out of production and reduce costs.

What can you used ambient onions for?

Our ambient onions can be used in the same recipes as our frozen and dehydrated line, however they come ready to use, straight from the packaging.

They have many uses from a delicious base to sauces to adding flavour and texture to chutneys and ready meals.

Easier and cheaper to store

As you will know, ambient products are generally easier to store.

The onions come in aseptic bag and box packaging, meaning they have a long shelf life and no need for costly fridge/freezer storage or transportation.

Many find that they have to store their frozen or fresh onions away from their other ingredients, as the strength of the smell manages to taint the products around them, this helps saves space within the warehouse.

Customers can conveniently store their ambient onions with their other ingredients as the aseptic packaging means the onion odour is contained and will not taint other ingredients.

Prepared 3 ways

There are three options within the ambient range including chopped, pureed and caramelised; convenient for all recipes.

Chopped onions are fantastic for ready meals, pies and curries, adding texture and flavour to our customers produce.

Pureed onions offer the perfect base for gravy’s, sauces, soups and pastes or a chef’s secret ingredient for a smoother risotto (you can thank us later).

Caramelised onions add a rich sweetness to many dishes. Whether you want a sweetened chutney, a delicious topping for a pizza or as an alternative flavour for a decadent burger.

We are really excited about this new range, so can’t wait to tell you more. Get in touch with the team today on 01386 761 555 or email on

Chestnut Truffle Vegan Cheesecake

Treat yourself this afternoon to this delicious, gluten free, vegan cheesecake.

Full of flavour, utterly indulgent and the perfect way to treat you and your loved ones with a glass of milk, cup of tea or a glass of something fizzy.

Cheesecake ingredients



  • 100g dark chocolate (broken into pieces)
  • 100ml coconut milk or almond milk
  • 440g can unsweetened chestnut puree
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Vegan friendly and Gluten free indulgence

With COVID-19 deciding whether we come or go, we are all finding new ways to indulge in little luxuries. We are taking time to develop new skills, learning more about what we are eating and putting effort into filling our bodies with healthier, delicious alternatives.

This vegan cheesecake recipe is perfect for the whole family, whatever your dietary requirements. It’s gluten free, fit for a vegan lifestyle and if you struggle to process sugar, not a problem!

The ‘not so secret’ ingredient: Chestnuts

The depth and creaminess of this vegan cheesecake comes from chestnuts. Naturally sweet, low in fat and the perfect pairing for chocolate.

Chestnuts can be used in many recipes to help add depth in flavour and alternative dairy free creaminess.

If you would like to know more about these delicious healthy treats, read our ‘Chestnuts: Not just for Christmas’ blog here.

Simple Steps to creating this delicious Vegan Cheesecake

  1. Prep the tin: Simply line the bottom and sides of a round cake tin (preferably springform) with baking paper.
  2. Melt your chocolate: Throw in your chopped chocolate and coconut milk into a heatproof bowl, place over a pan of simmering water (with no contact) and stir until the chocolate and milk have combined. Set aside to cool.
  3. Time for the crust: This recipe is easier with a food processor, however, is achievable with a little elbow grease. Combine your biscuits and oil together in the processor until blended fully into a crumb.

Once blended, press into your tin. Looking to achieve an even base? Press down with the bottom of a glass.

  1. And now for the filling: Clean your food processor bowl and scrape in your melted chocolate and remaining filling ingredients. Blend until smooth and utterly delicious. This is the perfect time to take advantage of being the chef. Taste and sweeten to suit your palette.

Scoop the mixture onto the top of the base and smooth with the back of a fork or a wetted metal spoon. Cover and leave to cool in a fridge for at least 4 hours.

  1. And serve! Once cooled, release the sides, gently peel off the baking paper and present as you wish! I like a scraping of orange peel on mine.

Try making your own vegan cheesecake

If you would like to share your own efforts on making our Chestnut Vegan Cheesecake, or have any other ideas on Gluten Free, Plant Based or delicious Vegan Puddings, please feel free to post on LinkedIn and tag us! We are always looking for new and exciting ways of baking and cooking.

Talk to our team today about orders on any of the ingredients used within our cheesecake recipe on or 01386 761 555.


Know your Onions : Understanding Dehydrated Onion

Onions are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables first discovered over 5,000 years ago. Easy to grow throughout the world it’s no surprise they became a staple kitchen ingredient.

Whether you are a restaurant chef, a baker, a butcher or a home cook, onions are sure to feature in your store cupboard.

Used in a variety of cuisines, onions enhance the flavour of many of our favourite dishes.

They add a delicious bite to chutneys and stir-fry’s, a beautiful base for curries, casseroles, soups and stocks, and in powdered form a welcome addition to spice mixes.

With such an important ingredient, we take the quality of our onion supplies very seriously.

The benefits of dehydrated onion?

Dehydrating onions locks in their essence. When re-hydrated in a recipe you find the onion flavour infuses into your dish providing a wonderful caramel-like aroma.

Some customers re-hydrate their onions before adding to their products, others just use them how they are. To re-hydrate, simply add water.

Offering a long shelf life, dehydrated onion is easy to store and given the re-hydration factor is around 4:1 you can cut down on transport costs and storage room required relative to a fresh or frozen alternative.

All this helps reduce costs in the long run minimising transport, storage and waste.

How does the price of dehydrated onion compare to fresh or frozen?

At first glance, the price of dehydrated onions exceeds that of frozen. However, it’s competitive on price once re-hydrated considering you get approximately 4 times the end product.

Onion supplies available

Our onion supplies come in various shapes and sizes, but our three most popular products include; onion powder, minced onion and kibbled onion.

The beauty of having a range of sizes and textures means that you have a product ready prepared, available to use immediately. No peeling, no chopping and no watery, crying eyes.

Onion Powder

Our onion powder does what it says on the box, it comes in a fine powder and is perfect for use in seasoning mixes, stocks and used commonly within the bakery and snack industries.

That beautiful flavour you enjoy when indulging in a bag of crisps, comes from onion powder.

Dehydrated Minced onion

Minced onion is finely chopped into small flakes. Ideal as a base ingredient, ready to kick start the flavour for your final culinary delight.

Ideal for use within meat products such as sausages and burgers, but also perfect for dried goods such as stuffing mixes and to add flavour to breadcrumbs.

Our customers have also been known to use our minced onion within soups and pie fillings.

Dehydrated Kibbled onion

If you want something a little chunkier, to really add some bite and texture, our kibbled onion is ideal.

We love to see our kibbled onions used within chutneys and ready meals such as curries, savoury rice’s, casseroles and stews.

Talk to our team today

Being a base ingredient, we know how important a constant supply of onion is, which is why we constantly work with our customers to keep them fully stocked.

Talk to our team today on 01386 761 555 or to discuss your onion supply requirements, and what we can do to help perfect your product.

Chestnuts: Not just for Christmas

As soon as the clock strikes twelve on new years eve the race to develop new lines for the next Christmas period begins. Food manufacturers and the retail industry start the hunt for new ingredients and food creations to fill the shelves. For the average consumer, the idea of talking about anything festive before October is unheard of. Those in the food and beverage world know that Christmas preparation lasts all year round.

A traditionally festive ingredient is the chestnut. Commonly used in Christmas stuffing or mixed with brussel sprouts, the Chestnut has been a staple of the English Christmas menu for over two hundred years.  As we talk to our customers about chestnut supplies, it has led us to thinking more about why these delicious treats aren’t an all year-round thing.

Are Chestnuts a Nut?

There are various types of nut. Nuts such as hazelnuts, acorns and chestnuts are in fact a fruit and don’t generally carry the same allergen properties* of a tree nut. Tree nuts are seeds of drupes and include almonds, cashews and brazil nuts.

Botanically part of the beech family, chestnuts originate from the northern hemisphere. Native to forests in Japan, China, North America and Europe. They are shiny and brown in colour, with long, sharp spikes, also known as burrs. While similar in appearance, Horse Chestnuts are not edible by humans and they should not be confused.

Chestnuts are versatile, full of flavour and a great staple for your store cupboard.

When is chestnut season?

Traditionally chestnuts are eaten in the lead up to Christmas. They are in season in late autumn/ early winter. Lucky for us, they can easily be prepped and stored to last all year round.

To test if a chestnut is ripe, simply give it a squeeze, if there is a slight ‘give’ then the chestnut is ready to harvest. As soon as the nut comes off the tree, they start to shrivel, so it’s best to harvest them as soon as possible.

Are chestnuts good for you?

In comparison to other nuts, chestnuts are lower in fat and protein, but higher in carbohydrates. Full of potassium, iron, zinc and fibre, these tasty little treats are a great addition to a healthy diet.

If you are looking to up your vitamin intake, chestnuts are full of vitamin C, meaning they are great for helping keep your skin, bones and blood cells nice and healthy.

They are gluten free and have a natural sweetness making them ideal use in deserts as a diary replacement.

Kitchen skills and cooking chestnuts

In Europe and in Asian countries, chestnuts are part of the weekly diet. Providing a tasty addition to stews, pasta and puddings. Over the last two years we have seem more restaurants start to use chestnuts as an ingredient in plant-based creations such as risottos and soups. Their natural sweetness make chestnuts an ideal component in deserts whether as an ice cream or in pureed formed mixed with alcohol such as rum or kirsh.

We provide many manufacturers and retailers with chestnuts in various forms, to help with preparation.

Whole and broken chestnuts

Our whole chestnuts come roasted, peeled, blanched and vacuum packed. They are ready to be enjoyed as a snack or mixed in with your favourite recipes.

Whole and broken chestnuts can be chopped and added to a salad or stirred into a warm risotto! The great thing about this store cupboard essential is that they have a long shelf life.

Dried kibbled chestnuts

Primarily created for our manufacturing customers, our dried kibbled chestnuts are dried chestnut pieces ideal for dry mixes such as soups and stuffing.

Known to be popular during Christmas dinner, there is no reason why we can’t carry on using this aromatic stuffing all year round!

Chestnut puree

Our chestnut puree consists of roasted chestnuts which have been blended ready to be used in soups, sauces, but are the ideal application for dairy replacement in desserts.

Great in sweet and savoury dishes, the versatility of our chestnut puree is every chef’s dream.

Candied Chestnuts

Commonly known as Marron Glaces, our candied chestnuts are ‘melt in your mouth’, sweet bites of utter delight!

They come in jars and are ready for a hit of sweetness. Perfect to help sweeten up your day.

Gluten free and a healthy indulgence

There are many recipes that can include chestnuts. They are gluten free and vegan, so perfect for plant based and vegan recipes.

Their textural versatility can provide creaminess to dairy-free recipes and they can work well in gluten free baking. Naturally sweet, yet warming and rich.

Keep an eye out for upcoming chestnut recipes for you to try for yourself! Feel free to share your achievements on social media.

If you have any questions on our product range, or if you would like to become a customer, please get in touch with the team on or 01386 761 555.