New low-fat and reduced-salt bacon products are being developed by Northampton-based TMI Foods in conjunction with sandwich and food manufacturers in the UK and continental Europe, which the company supplies.

TMI has also responded to Government directives to lower the salt content of foods and worked with customers to meet consumer demand for lower-fat products. “You have to retain a certain amount of salt and preservatives for it to be proper bacon, but we are able to provide a wide range of distinctive tastes through our precise curing techniques,” says TMI Foods managing director David Abbott.

The company has invested heavily at its Coventry curing plant, installing the latest in smoke ovens to use natural smoking techniques with beech or oak wood and cure a variety of new flavours, including traditional dry cure, sweet, maple, cherry, apple and malt.

“Sandwich manufacturers are always looking for new flavours and we have recently introduced pancetta, a long dry cure with herbs and spices, cherry wood and mild-cured succulent loin slices,” says Abbott. “We also produce a large number of different cook levels from traditional cooked bacon to crispy.