Under what conditions can a product be considered as Greek?
Lately, the concept of Greek products became a matter of great concern in the business community due to the emerging trend from consumers to prefer Greek products. This trend is a concern for foreign multinational companies operating in Greece, feeling their market shares threatened by Greek products.
A product can be considered as Greek when it is produced by companies, situated in Greece, belonging to Greek businessmen (or at least Greeks control the majority of the shares), is produced in Greece, by Greek employees and finally, if possible, the raw materials which are used in the production are also of Greek origin. The issue of raw materials is the only condition which may not be satisfied because in some cases either the raw materials are not produced at all in Greece or they are produced in such quantities that are not sufficient for the production needs.
Why is curcumin coloring used in the production of mustard?
Based on historical references, curcuma root was used in the production of mustard, giving it not only its flavor and taste but also its distinctive yellow color. Mustard without any coloring has an off-white, slightly brownish color which does not stimulate the appetite and does not please the sight, as condiments usually do.
What colorings are used – if any – in your products?
Colorings are used where necessary and permitted by law in order to enhance the product’s natural color and give the product an attractive look. Our Company uses only natural colorings, such as caramel color and curcumin, in some of its products. No artificial colorings are used in any product.
Why are flavorings used in your products?
Flavorings are used in the production process in order to provide a result (product) with a rounded and distinctive flavor, without affecting its basic taste. They are not intended to be noticed by consumers, yet to enhance the product’s flavor and contribute to a pleasant sense of taste.
The product’s main aroma is not affected, as minimum quantities (aromatic notes) of added flavorings are used, which cannot alter the intense and prevailing aroma of the basic ingredients of each product (e.g. mustard-seed in mustard, tomato paste in ketchup, vegetable oil & egg in mayonnaise). Besides, according to historical references, the production process of each product involved flavoring, with various aromatic herbs and spices, depending on the meal for which it was used as a dressing.
Are there any preservatives in your products?
In order to make products with no preservatives, like mustard, we put in place health and safety schemes that ensure the following:
– Clean water: We use filtered and processed water to make sure that its quality meets the legal requirements for food and drug production.
– Microbiological testing of raw materials. Our company has a state-of-the-art, fully equipped and staffed laboratory which verifies that all materials used in the production process fully meet the legal and internal specifications for quality and safety.
– Control of all production stages: Our Company implements the Quality Management and Health & Safety Management Systems throughout its processes. As a result, Good Industry Practice is applied, while continuous controls and inspections are made to ensure the constant quality and safety of the products.
– Product durability: If our Company cannot obtain, with natural means, the durability of a product, due to its transport and storage conditions, then common preservatives (potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate) are used. Such preservatives are always used at the lowest and most effective quantity permitted by law and only when deemed necessary.
What are stabilizers and what is their origin?
Sometimes it is necessary to use stabilizers to help products maintain their unique texture and consistency during their use. We use naturally-derived stabilizers in some of our products.
What is the shelf life of your products?
The Best Before date of unopened products is:MUSTARD: Up to 24 months
KETCHUP: Up to 12 months
MAYONNAISE-SAUCES: From 8 to 12 months
BALSAMIC CREAMS: Up to 24 months
Once opened, all products need to be refrigerated. Make sure the bottle is always tightly closed and clean.
Are your products suitable for people with celiac disease?
Our products are made with raw materials not derived from wheat, rye, barley and oats, therefore they are gluten-free. On the packagings of our product you can find Information for this issue.
Which is the vegetable oil used in your mayonnaise and sauces?
Our main principle is to use high-quality basic raw materials. Due to the high percentage of oil used in mayonnaise, we use exclusively sunflower oil. It is preferred becauce it gives mayonnaise a subtle taste and it has better results in the products’ shelf life compared to soy oil.
Do you use Genetically Modified ingredients or ingredients derived from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in your products?
MEDITERRANEAN FOODS S.A., based on its code of ethics and quality policy for its products, does not wish to use genetically modified raw materials in the manufacturing of its products. All our products are manufactured and standardized without the use of GMOs or their derivatives. With the help of our suppliers, we are able to guarantee and prove it with the appropriate certificates.
What materials are used to make the plastic containers of your products?
We use bottles made of Pet (PET), polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE). These are the main materials used for food containers. They are all food grade and recyclable.
Is there nutritional information available for your products?
Our products are labeled with nutritional information. Please contact us for further Information.
What is the origin of the tomato paste used in ketchup?
Greece is one of the most important producers of industrial tomato used to make tomato paste. There are several major well-known Greek industries in this sector which supply us with the tomato paste used for our ketchup and sauces containing tomato paste.
What is mustard-seed?
Mustard-seed is a small, round seed, approximately 1-2mm in size. Its color varies from light yellow to white or even black. The plant grows in cold and humid weather conditions. The main varieties used for the production of mustard-seed, which is used as raw material for mustard, are Brassica nigra – black mustard-seed with spicy taste – and Brassica hirta/Sinapis – yellow mustard-seed with slightly spicy & sweet taste.
The main producers are Canada and East European countries. Our Company uses Canadian mustard-seed, due to the strict and standard specifications applied in the mustard-seed production process in Canada.
Where are your products manufactured?
Our products are manufactured in Greece, in our privately-owned facilities in Leonidio, Arcadia, exclusively from Greek employees.
Are your products suitable for diabetics?
It depends on the type and strictness of the diet.
The eggs used in mayonnaise are free ranged?
The eggs used in mayonnaise are industrial pasteurized eggs with no risk of exposing the product to microbial infections. Free range eggs should not be used in industrial applications because poultry feed cannot be controlled, therefore there is nutritional risk.
My children consume large quantities of mustard & ketchup. Is this good for their nutrition and how can it affect their body weight?
Mustard and ketchup contain almost no fat. Therefore, the consumption of these products does not affect children’s body weight. However, as applies to all food, “all in good measure”.
What is the difference between BRAVA mustard and Dijon mustard?
The production method of mustard varies depending on the place of production, the raw materials and technology used. Nevertheless, there are three main mustard production schools: German, American and French (Dijon). The key difference between them is the processing of the basic raw material, mustard-seed.
MEDITERRANEAN FOODS S.A. applies the German production method of mustard, including strict specifications and control stages of the production process, thus ensuring the constant quality of the product and a taste adapted to Greek consumer standards.
How is the quality of your products assured?
The quality of our products is continuously controlled by our Company’s Quality Control Department. The Department is staffed by qualified scientists. This team constantly controls raw materials, packaging materials and the production process to make sure that all products comply with the high quality and health standards of the Company.
What is lycopene and where does it come from?
Lycopene is a natural antioxidant contained, inter alia, in tomato. Tomato products, such as tomato paste and ketchup, have a higher content of lycopene than tomato. This is because the processing methods used in the manufacturing of tomato products, such as crushing and heat treatment, release lycopene, which is “locked” in tomato skin cells. This antioxidant is responsible for the high nutritional value of these foods.