The Foodlab method
Our manufacturing process is characterised by several steps and the manual component is prevalent: only in this way can we guarantee the highest level of quality.
The whole process takes about 48 hours
We were the first to impose a new approach for Atlantic salmon in supermarkets: sonly fresh products, never frozen, not even after processing. It takes a lot of work and research to reach such a high goal, but frozen meat is less elastic and has a flattened taste, so we decided to raise the standard of the finished product by switching to a new treatment of the raw material, which arrives at the factory once a week fresh, under ice (0° – +4°C). And it is immediately ready for filleting.
And it is immediately ready for filleting.
Our master salters process the fish by hand, dry and with sea salt, as in the past, in order to respect even the thinnest parts of the fillets where only a small amount of salt is needed. After a night’s rest in the cell, the salmon is washed with fresh water to remove excess sodium chloride. Methods other than ours, such as brine injections, increase the risk of obtaining a less consistent, pastier looking product with flaky flesh. We ensure that the flesh is firm and always salted to the optimum point.
Slow and natural drying
The drying process is an essential step in the production of our salmon: it is at this point that the so-called ‘free water’ is eliminated and the product is microbiologically stabilised.
For such a delicate step, we have created a special room, separate from the smoking room and of our own design. The horizontal air flow ensures that each fillet is dried evenly, for a homogenous result.
Everything is under control here: time and humidity are constantly regulated.
In order for Foodlab salmon to achieve its distinctive character, smoking is a substantial step: we have in fact devised the recipe to achieve an Italian, rounded flavour, much more delicate than the typically Northern European one. The Foodlab method involves natural slow-burning smoking, without an open flame and with fine beech wood. The smoke released during this process envelops the salmon in its entirety, giving it a distinctive aroma, without ever adding liquid or fumes, and is unique in that it gives the product an exceptionally gentle smoky impact and sensory qualities.
Before packing our fillets, we cool them rapidly, an indispensable step to preserve the nutritional properties of the salmon and to be able to move on to cutting and packaging. The product at this stage continues its processing even more gently and through the relative humidity control system continues its slow drying process. Fillets and slices are then vacuum or modified atmosphere packed.
Foodlab’s marinade comes from Gianpaolo Ghilardotti’s background as a chef. This is why it is so light, delicate and unmistakable: a recipe that enhances the flavour of the salmon and preserves the fresh softness of the flesh. The technique is very simple in its purity, but capable of combining the protagonists of the finished product in a balanced way: the herbs, the salt, the salmon. We use parsley, spring onion, dill and thyme, a mix of herbs that gives our fillets even more character.
After much experimentation, we developed a bouquet of fresh, contemporary flavourings: lemon and pink pepper, ginger, whisky, vodka, honey.
Our flavouring technique combines the aromas of fruit and distillates with the tasty smoothness of the salmon in an extremely balanced way.
We proceed with a double step: first, sprinkling the woods used for smoking with the distillate, the second just before packaging, lightly marinating the meat.