Njallan, the storehouse used by the Same, is one example of how, in the north of Sweden, cold has been used for centuries to keep food fresh. The Same tradition of freezing food to prevent attacks by micro-organisms and deterioration while, at the same time, preserving nutrients, has lived on and been developed further. Deep-freezing is now a natural part of everyday modern life.
Stone-baked flatbread is a speciality from the province of Norrland. At the bakeries of the Polarbröd company, the flatbread makes the journey from the oven to the freezer in less than half an hour. The polar-fresh method means that the bread is frozen immediately after baking. It is then distributed frozen throughout Sweden, as well as to other countries. The polar bread is kept in cold storage for 15-18 days on average, and is dated only when it is defrosted in the shops. No preservatives need to be added to the bread, which is an environmental as well as health benefit.
”Since we don’t use preservatives, the bread may mould after a week or so at room temperature, just like home-made bread. We regard this as a healthy sign”, says Maria Göransson, dietician at Polarbröd.
Polarbröd’s three bakeries are BRC (British Retail Consortium) certified, a standard for improved product assurance and hygiene. BRC lays down stringent requirements for a company’s quality system, process and product control, plants and staff. All stages of the work process and how they are to be carried out must be recorded. All Polarbröd’s bakeries also meet the EMAS requirements for environmental management systems.
This article was first published in Advantage Environment printed in February 2008