Hailing from the coastal region of Puglia in southern Italy, Domenico Scarpetta channelled his 40 years of experience as a chef and restaurateur into creating La Mediterranea Food UK, an artisanal producer of premium fresh pasta, bread, focaccia and Mediterranean flour-based products.
From their factory in Abergavenny, La Mediterranea supply major hotels, restaurants, and retail outlets and also sell direct to customers at farmers markets.
Support from ZERO2FIVE
ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre have worked with La Mediterranea on two separate projects.
When the company was looking to launch a new range of breads, ZERO2FIVE provided knowledge transfer on how to prepare a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plan in line with industry best practice and legal requirements. In particular, mentoring was delivered on hazard analysis, preparing a process flow diagram, establishing critical limits, monitoring procedures, corrective actions and best practice in finished product labelling.
Subsequently, when La Mediterranea were looking to carry out some new product development (NPD), they were referred to ZERO2FIVE’s NPD team. Aware of the high protein trend, the company wanted to develop a high protein pasta for the gym market and had already had interest from former professional athletes.
ZERO2FIVE’s commercial team first carried out a pasta category review to provide direction and support for the company’s new product development. Using data sources such as Kantar Worldpanel, The Food People and online retailers, the report covered trends in fortified pasta, shape and colour trends, and a competitor analysis which looked at price, ingredients and health claims.
Equipped with evidence to support the rationale behind their product development, La Mediterranea developed high protein pasta prototypes. To determine if the product could legally be described as “high protein”, nutritional analysis was undertaken by ZERO2FIVE to verify the amount of protein it contained. It was found that per 100g the product had similar protein levels to a rump steak.
Benefits of the support
As a result of the support, La Mediterranea launched three new bread products including breadsticks and bruschetta for their restaurant customers. The company recruited an additional production operative to deal with increased customer demand. They also plan to launch their high protein pasta range imminently.
Domenico Scarpetta, La Mediterranea Food
“ZERO2FIVE has been extremely supportive and professional in the approach to our project. Working with them has given our company an insight and understanding of food technology.”