Barcelona Food Cluster Association: New Technology Presented at Mercabarna to Manufacture Pre-Cooked Convenience Food

Can you imagine a machine that cooks food in industrial quantities in a minimum of time and maintains the same taste as homemade food? This is the pioneering technology that goes by the name ‘T’ developed by Foodtopía, a business which creates technology applications to manufacture pre-cooked convenience food for the foodservice channel.

To reveal more about the machine’s commercial possibilities, the Barcelona Food Cluster Association, promoted by Mercabarna, organised a conference in collaboration with ANTA (the Association for the Out-of-Home Use of New Food Technologies) on 14 September which drew around 30 attendees and included a food tasting session. The conference was one of the activities designed by the Cluster innovation taskforce set up to promote strategic changes among member businesses.

Business collaboration
The idea behind the presentation was for attendees to learn about the existence of the technology and to assess the possibility of implementing a joint project, which would consist of various wholesale firms joining ranks to create a central kitchen in Mercabarna that could use the technology to make pre-cooked products. Foodtopía chair Jesús Pagán says that wholesale markets are the perfect place to install the machinery because they are “where the raw material providers meet the foodservice channel customers, who are increasingly demanding these types of products”. A pilot test using the machinery is scheduled to begin in Mercalicante (the wholesale market in Alicante) in autumn.

What is ‘T’ technology?
‘T’ technology reproduces the way that tools usually found in a kitchen work, but on an industrial scale. Its creators say it can cook large amounts of a food in a minimum of time, while preserving all of the flavours afforded by ‘traditional’ preparation. In the words of Foodtopía new-technology consultant Norberto Navarro, the system “resolves one of the major problems of pre-cooked convenience food, i.e., the flavour, and also saves restaurateurs time and money”.

The machine can be used to prepare the ingredients and bases of numerous recipes (fried or caramelised vegetables, fish or meat stocks, etc.). The ingredients come in a blister pack format, i.e., chilled or frozen ‘tablets’ the chef can use to make the base of a dish and give it flavour.