Friday, 18 December 2009

Low fat sausages get the green light after butcher joins Healthier Food, Healthier Business project

A Derbyshire butcher is launching two new low fat sausages in the New Year after taking part in a project to help East Midlands food and drink manufacturers create healthier products.

J W Mettrick & Sons Ltd turned to the Healthier Food, Healthier Business project being spearheaded by The Food & Drink Forum when dieting customers began asking for low fat versions of its bangers.

Aware of the need to comply with strict labelling legislation before products can be labelled ‘low fat’, the butcher sought free help and advice from The Food & Drink Forum’s technical manager Richard Wigley.

He was able to advise on the claims that can be made on the labels of the newly created low fat pork and low fat turkey sausages, and liaise with Trading Standards experts over the precise nutritional composition of the products, which confirmed they could be described as low fat.

A product can only be labelled as low in fat when it contains no more than 3g of fat per 100g of product, explains Richard. The new sausages created by J W Mettrick & Sons Ltd have just 0.4g of fat per 100g in the pork product, and the turkey sausage a fat content of just 0.6g per 100g of product.

Now the new products are set for a launch in the New Year, and director John Mettrick has high hopes they will be a hit with customers who are cutting down on their fat intake.

“I think this fits in with what people are looking for,” explains John Mettrick, director at J W Mettrick & Sons Ltd, which has shops in Hadfield and Glossop, runs an abattoir in Glossop, North Derbyshire, and trades online at “We had quite a few customers who were in slimming groups who were asking if we could develop products that would fit in with their diets.

“We are looking to flag up the fact that a product that’s normally regarded by many people as an unhealthy product, can be a healthy product if it’s made correctly. Richard’s input has been crucial. For a little business like us, it would have been a struggle to afford the technical expertise that we’ve had, and without the help we would have muddled along. The Healthier Food, Healthier Business project, with its free support for East Midlands businesses, has been perfect for us.”

The Food & Drink Forum is spearheading the Healthier Food, Healthier Business project on behalf of the Department of Health and Food Standards Agency (FSA) to help small and medium size firms within the East Midlands region cut the saturated fat levels in their products to make them healthier, develop healthier products, reduce portion size or use the front of pack labelling scheme and ultimately make them more appealing to customers.

The project is also helping companies develop lower fat options, at a time when the importance of diet and healthy eating is increasingly being highlighted.

The Forum is emphasizing the value of healthier options by pointing out that they are worth an estimated more than £7 billion in the UK each year. The healthier food options sector is growing faster than sales in the food sector as a whole, according to market research experts Mintel.

The Food & Drink Forum has teamed up with Trading Standards labelling experts, and nutrition, diet and flavour experts from The University of Nottingham to help manufacturers in the region discover ways of making their products lower in saturated fat, but without compromising on flavour.

The project, which runs until the end of March, is currently helping a number of East Midlands food manufacturers to develop lower fat products.

“I have been very pleased to work with J W Mettrick & Sons Ltd under the Healthier Food, Healthier Business project to support them in the creation of two new low fat sausages, and hope they go down well with the firm’s customers,” says Richard Wigley.

For more information about the free support that’s available in the East Midlands under the Healthier Food, Healthier Business project, which runs until the end of March 2010, contact The Food & Drink Forum on 0115 9758810.

Professional success for BSP Consulting employees

BSP Consulting employee Matt Viggars has become one of the youngest people in the East Midlands to be awarded the status of chartered engineer.

Matt, 26, has passed his professional charter review to become a chartered civil engineer, recommended by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

BSP Consulting is also celebrating the news that Cat Delamore has become an incorporated engineer and is now working towards her chartership via the technical report route.

Cat, 29, has been working at BSP since 2003 after graduating from Nottingham Trent University. She joined the company under the Government’s New Deal scheme.

“BSP Consulting is very proud of both Matt and Cat, who are valuable members of the team,” said BSP Consulting managing director David Sumner. “We are delighted with their success, which recognises their competence, ability and professionalism in their fields, as well as the firm’s commitment to training and personal development.”

Matt and Cat are based at BSP’s Nottingham office in Oxford Street. The structural and civil engineering company, which also has offices in Derby and Leicester, has been celebrating its tenth anniversary during 2009.

In October it was crowned Consultant of the Year 2009 at the East Midlands Property Dinner.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Help banish the New Year winter blues naturally with Anila’s curry sauces and accompaniments

Anila’s curry sauces are the tasty way to help lift a mood and banish the winter blues. The heat and spices of a curry triggers the release of endorphins, otherwise known as the ‘feel good’ hormones, … helping to create a natural ‘high’.

A perfect ‘pick-me-up’ when days are dull, a curry could be just the thing to put some sparkle in your step.

But be prepared – it’s thought by some that curries are addictive, so be sure to stock up the cupboards to see you through the winter.

“When you eat a curry, the body releases endorphins in response to the hotter ingredients in the dish,” explains Anila Vaghela, who founded the family-run business of Anila’s Authentic Sauces in 1997. “These ‘feel good’ hormones help to lift a mood and make people feel happier, so curries are perfect as a pick-me-up during the gloomy winter months.”

Anila’s curry sauces are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, as well as being sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. They also don’t contain onions or garlic.

Perfect for anyone with specific allergies or intolerances, Anila’s has a range of eight curry sauces, based on traditional Indian recipes. They have won ten Great Taste Awards, and in 2009 Anila’s Spicy Korma Curry Sauce scooped a Free From Food Award.

Several studies have shown that eating curry releases endorphins, or feel good hormones, which help relieve stress and lift a mood. Some of the spices used in Anila’s curry sauces are also beneficial for other aspects of health. Cumin is good for the intestines, while fennel helps swellings or upset stomachs. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, boosts circulation and is good for colds and joints. Coriander can also help with respiratory problems when combined with cumin and turmeric, which in itself is an antioxidant that cleanses the blood and is good for joints.

Salicylic acid, which is used in aspirin, and is found naturally in curries, can help prevent colon cancer and treat headaches.

“Spices are an excellent way of boosting health during winter,” explains Anila.

As well as curry sauces, Anila’s also produces a distinctive and delicious range of 16 different mouth-watering ‘handmade’ chutneys, pickles and dips, which are made with single fruits and vegetables, and team up perfectly with a variety of dishes, snacks, meats and cheeses.

Based in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, Anila’s also has a unit in West London.

Anila’s products are available from or at the 28 farmers’ markets across the south listed on the website, as well as in John Lewis Oxford Street and John Lewis Bluewater. They are also sold in top quality gourmet stores, such as Harrods and Selfridges, plus hundreds of other outlets, including Wholefoods, Planet Organic, delis, health food stores, garden centres and gift shops.

For more information visit

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Bumper Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market in Nottingham this month

Fans of Nottingham’s Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market are in for a festive treat this month with an extra three days of trading.

The market will run as usual on the third Friday and Saturday of the month on December 18th and 19th, but will be extended to Sunday 20th, Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd December to give shoppers extra time to buy festive food and foodie gifts from regional producers and suppliers.

The market, organised by East Midlands Fine Foods in conjunction with Nottingham City Council, has been running monthly in the Old Market Square since April 2007.

Stalls sell a wide range of quality regional products including cheese, pickles, meat, smoked fish, beer and game.

“The Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market is a great place to stock up on Christmas essentials and luxuries, as well as source items for gift hampers and presents,” said Jo Murphy, of East Midlands Fine Foods. “At the same time, it’s supporting producers and suppliers across the East Midlands, and helping the local economy.”

This month the market will temporarily relocate to the area in the Old Market Square at the bottom of King Street and alongside the fountains as part of the on-going Christmas festivities in the square.

Some 26 stalls will be in place for the first two days of the market, with more than half of them spending five days at the event.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Yoga course kicks off in the New Year

A Nottinghamshire yoga school has begun recruiting for its next teaching course, which starts in January.

Shanti Yoga School has trained around 40 yoga teachers since it was launched six years ago.

The yoga is based on the Full Movement Method – a unique approach that’s been developed and pioneered by Nottinghamshire yoga teacher and therapist Andy Thomas, 64.

Andy, from West Bridgford, also uses the Full Movement Method as a basis for treating patients for muscle and joint pain, including international sportsmen and women, musicians, and actors, as well as accident victims.

The latest teaching course is due to start in the New Year for anyone interested in learning the method, with tuition taking place at Colwick Quays Business Park, Colwick.

Full details of costs, dates, start times and venue are at

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Girls' Night Out at Colston Bassett Store brings in the cash for charity

A fifth annual charity event held at Colston Bassett Store and Garden Café raised just over £1,200 for Skcin, the Nottingham-based Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity.

It brings the total raised for different charities over the years by customers and friends of the store to approximately £5,000.

This year’s Girls’ Night Out event attracted more than 100 people and featured a host of stalls selling a wide range of accessories and gifts, including jewellery, bags, chocolates, table decorations, beauty treatments and other treats.

The money collected will be handed to the charity set up by family and friends of Karen Clifford, with help from medical professionals at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, which aims to raise awareness of skin cancer and provide funds to treat sufferers of the condition.

“We are delighted to have raised so much money for Skcin and to have held such a popular evening, which has now become a firm favourite on Colston Bassett Store’s calendar,” said Martin Lindsay, who runs the store and café restaurant with wife Jan.

Children's charity support from Croots Farm Shop

Derbyshire children’s charity Treats is to benefit from festive fund-raising at Croots Farm Shop.

The farm shop at Farnah House Farm, Wirksworth Road, Duffield, has picked Treats Children’s Charity as its chosen charity for the next 12 months, alongside the Shire Horse Society, which it has supported since opening in June 2008.

Croots has kicked off its support with a £500 donation to Treats and has launched its fund-raising effort with a draw for a two-foot high chocolate Santa and the sale of 2010 Croots calendars.

A late night opening with 10% discount on shopping from 3pm to 8pm on Thursday December 10th is to be a focus for fund-raising.

“We like to raise money for charity at Croots, and have decided to support Derbyshire children’s charity Treats for the next 12 months, beginning with a £500 donation and a festive fund-raising effort,” said Croots owner Steve Croot.

“We will be donating £1.50 from the sale of each Croots calendar to Treats, as well as all the proceeds from the draw for the chocolate Santa. We are expecting that our late night opening discount evening on December 10th will be popular and that customers will dig deep to support this very worthwhile charity.”

A Christmas cheese tasting event will also take place at Croots on December 10th from 2pm, featuring five different festive cheeses.

Treats Children’s Charity was launched more than 22 years ago by a group of professional businesswomen in Derbyshire to raise money for the children of Derbyshire and the surrounding region. Over the years, it has donated thousands of pounds to needy causes.