After trade fairs, degustations and emails, we have gathered a few Frequently Asked Questions that come up after discovering our product. As we are a brand new category (gourmet proteic snack) a lot of doubts have raised, and we will try to answer them below. If you have questions that are not below, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will incorporate them in a new post.
1. Isn’t it like Spanish “Cecina”(dry smoked beef)?
No, it only matches in the animal origin – which is cow/veal – but its taste and the properties are totally different, as the process is completely opposite. We like to say that Biltong is to ‘cecina’ as a croissant is to a muffin. Both are pastry with a flour origin but that´s it.
Cecina is a smoked salted cured beef leg; while Kubdu Biltong is not smoked, neither salted or cured but a marinated, spiced and air-dried veal steak. This makes it differ from aspect, colour, smell, taste and even in texture.
The confusion is normal, as it is the closest product we would have in the Spanish market. But we are talking about a brand new product, alongside a brand new category.
2. Does it need to be in the fridge?
No, it doesn’t. It is preserved at room temperature in a cold and dry place. Once opened keep it in the fridge. It takes up 10 to 14 days to dry because it keeps the moisture. At room temperature takes from 2 to 4 days. So once opened it preserves better in the fridge, although dry tastes also great!
In fact you can leave your pack open for a month and it will still be awesome, drier but awesome. As the days goes by it loses water until it is completely dry.
3. When does it expire?
It doesn’t. You can eat the product 9-10 months after and it will be in good conditions.
However after 5 months the aromas of spices can decrease and that is why mark it as best before date. We work always to deliver the freshest product possible so you can choose the tenderness.
The best before date is indicated by the manufacturer, ensuring that the product retains all its organoleptic properties in excellent conditions until the consumption date. Unlike the expiry date, which indicates when microbiologically the consumption of the product can be harmful.
4. Does it have preservatives or colourings?
Our product does’t have artifitial colourings, the colour comes from the own meat, spices and natural colourings such as caramel.
And it doesn’t have artificial preservatives; we just add potassium sorbate, which is an antifungal and prevents the appearance of mold during drying, when the product is still wet.
How is it preserved then? 99,9% is explained by (1) the controlled atmosphere: the presence of oxygen is residual and as there is no oxidation the product is not damaged. This is replaced by an inert gas, alimentary nitrogen. (2) three-layer bag: provides a seal which maintains the controlled atmosphere. (3) vinegar and salt: natural preservatives.
5. Does it have a lot of salt?
Salt is used as a preservative and flavoring. Salt is the essence in the drying process as it reduces the moisture from the meat. It must be said that spices allow us to reduce the amount of salt, and we will continue to reduce it in upcoming improvements.
6. Which type of allergens does it contain?
The Original and Boboti really none, but the spices might contain traces of gluten, milk, eggs and soy due to cross-contamination in the factory of origin. This means that in the factory where spices are packaged have a production line where they might use these allergens. The cleaning process and separation avoid cross-contaminations but are required to write it in ourpacks, because the remote possibility exists.
However the tests we have done until today have been always negative, and it shows the absence of these allergens.
It’s a suitable product for muslims as it’s Halal certified. The whole process and raw materials follows strictly the Halal norms.
7. How much Biltong is advisable to consume?
Reference Daily Intake recommended is 50g protein, so with a couple of Kubdu Biltong 40gr bags would cover the daily protein needs.
Also note that depending on the age, sex and physical activity, among other parameters, this amount will vary. IR is calculated as mean and minimum low, ie 2000 kcal for an adult, for example being a man is actually 3.000kcal 16 to 39 years. An athlete will be around the 4.000kcal at least.
Problems always comes by abuse or lack of consumption, so a moderate consumption of any food, is recommended.
8. Does this product make you fat?
Unlike existing current market snacks – which are made of carbohydrates and fats – this protein snack is low in calories and ‘barely has fat’. The explanation is simple: carbohydrates surplus intake is stored, the surplus fat become glycogen and is also stored in the adipose tissue along with three water molecules, but the protein is not stored. Therefore, we could say that by not stored, does not generate fat.
That little 3,5% of fat or 1,75% of existing sugar in the product might generate fat, but being that quantity it would hardly generate an excess that provoked storage, it would be consumed.
Also noteworthy is that as proteins can not be stored, metabolism degrades them to be expelled through urea, so excess meat consumption would generate excess aminos having oxidative power, and therefore detrimental.
9. WHO says that eating processed meat may increase the risk of colon cancer, should you not consume this product or any meat?
First we must consider that meat is an essential nutrient of the food pyramid as it provides us the essential amino acids for the composition and regeneration of our organs and tissues. Besides being natural source of iron and B vitamins in many cases.
Second we have to lower the alarmism of such notice, since its main impact is on the development of settler-rectal cancer. The possibility of developing a settler-rectal cancer is 5% in men and somewhat lower in women. The consumption of such meat would increase the risk by 18% according to studies, so the risk would increase from 5% to just under 6%. Mind this cancer is mostly genetic-hereditary.
The risk detected in processed meats (bacon, sausages, burgers mainly) focuses on 3 factors:
· Use of nitrites and nitrates: Nitrates are used in much of the processed meats (especially meats) as preservatives (eg sodium nitrite in turkey), And the organism can pass nitrites and react with amino groups to form carcinogenic compounds that damage DNA.
· Heme molecule: present in red meat, it is responsible for transporting iron. Studies in rats suggest that could affect the formation of carcinogenic nitroso compounds that would be originating cancer. However they are not validated theories. What it is demonstrated is that calcium helps reduce these potential effects.
· High temperature: frying, roasting or grilling can promote the formation of carcinogens by HCA and PAH, which is shown to cause cancer in animals.
Having said that:
· Kubdu Biltong uses no nitrites or nitrates.
· Kubdu Biltong does not use high temperatures. Only air-dried betwwen 30ºC and 35°C.
· The beef is red meat so it contains heme, as it’s logical, and it’s essential for the supply of iron that our body needs. Meat has much more benefits than negative effects so its clearly recommended.
Therefore, Kubdu Biltong is one of the best ways to eat premium meat and acquire essential nutrients provided by this high quality protein.
10. I see that it has monosodium glutamate, isn’t it bad?
Monosodium Glutamate is the most common enhancer in the food sector taste.
It is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant non-essential amino acids in nature .
Also known as UMAMI (see news dec2015) and is very popular for being considered the 5th taste after sweet, sour, salty and sour.
It is used to balance, combine and highlight the character of other flavors.
There are some believes that think it should be an additive to avoid, however scientific evidence shows that there is nothing to worry about. Only could present a risk to exaggerated doses, as happens with many of the essential vitamins for the body.
The fact is that the FDA (Food and Drug Association US) today continues to say that adding MSG to food “is generally considered safe”.
So with science in our hand, we can safely consume it. Moreover it is becoming now very trendy and popular in top cuisine.
11. I see the bag is quite small, is it enough a bag of 40gr?
40g bag is the single-consumption format. It contains around 30 chips, enough for 2-3 salads or to satisfy the craving for food a person might have.
Keep in mind that protein is more satiating than carbohydrate or fat, so with only 1 bag of 40g you’ll be satiated.
12. It´s an expensive product.
It is not. If you run the numbers, you’ll see that 1 kg of high quality beef silverside costs around 16 €/kg approx. During the drying process it drops down to one-third of its original weight so only the value of beef would be 45 €/kg. We use only high quality raw material to make an exquisite unbeatable gourmet biltong !
1 bag of 40 gr equals a 100-105g veal steak approximately .
Compared with crisps it can seem expensive, but you have to put the real value on what you’re buying. The real cost of the potatoes in a 1,5€ bag is lower than 0,1€, as in a 40gr Kubdu Biltong bag (2,95€) the cost of the product (veal) is more than 7 times higher. Therefore we could state that price-value Kubdu Biltong is much better than the rest of the carbohydrated snacks in the market as you’re buying a high quality protein which is costly.
In short, it is relatively unexpensive compared to the current offer, not to mention the nutritional benefits.
13. How do the veals live?
One of the keys to our Biltong is the quality of the veal. That’s why we have chosenthe best farms at the bottom of the Pyrenees in the province of Girona and Barcelona, where veals follow strict guidelines and traceability: mainly grass-fed, Pinto breed, not hormoned or medicamented which results in excellent quality meat.
The only difference vs ecological meat is that to call it bio you need to pay lots of money in certifications and papers. We rather offer the same supreme quality but without paying for certification that could double the cost price.
14. Is it a Low Carbon Footprint product?
Yes, unlike other products that are supplied from a continent, produce it in different one and send it to sell to a third continent, we practice a policy of proximity and do everything within just 40 miles around
The slaughterhouse is located just 20 miles away from the farmhouse where we produce Kubdu Biltong. A farmhouse located in the middle of nature, in a village of just 600 inhabitants (Sant Feliu Sasserra), where the meat can acquire the nuances and energy required to be a unique and different product.
Being a natural and artisan process, it requires low use of energy.
This means less pollution and more environmentally friendly.
15. Do you follow any physical, chemical or thermical process?
No, the process is simple and natural: a fresh steak is marinated in Balsamic Modene vinegar and afterwards we cover it with spices that penetrates naturally into the meat. Its air-dried for a week, and then finely cut into slices, selected and packaged.
Therefore, it does not suffer any process that alters its properties or structure and makes it a natural product of high biological value protein.
16.Where can i buy it?
In selected shops and butchers, Kubdu Gourmet is the range of products for the top selected stores, which means from gourmet shops, to restaurants and transports.
You can see some of the outlets on our website in the section WHERE TO BUY.
Everyday more and more shops and countries are joining Kubdu Biltong, so if you want to know more precisely where can you find it in your city, write to us and we will find out.
Otherwise you can order it from our online shop.
17. How do I eat it?
It is an appetizer or snack so it is eaten as it is, slice by clice. It matches perfectly with a long drink, beer or wine due to its semi-dried and salty state. We recommend seeing the wine pairings chart prepared by Ferran Centelles – Sommelier of El Bulli at our website.
Kubdu Biltong is also a versatile ingredient in the kitchen, which can act as a flavoring ingredient in protein and salads, entrees, pasta, rice and creams. Imagination to power!
18. I see it very dry, is it normal?
We are used to cold meats, very moist meat products.
A steak has a water activity of 0.98,
A sausage has a water activity of 0.85,
A piece of Kubdu Biltong has a water activity environment 0.75
This explains why it is drier.
The feeling of dryness is also promoted by the absence of fat, which maintains product moisture.
Biltong could be more tender (0.8), semi-tender (0.75) or dry (0.7).
We elaborate semi-tender in 40g bags.
The whole piece allows you to have it as tender as you wish;
And if you like it dry you only need to leave the pack open for > 48h-72h and follow its natural drying process.
We could also make it with a bit of fat, which will give more flavor, less shelf-life and it would jeopardise its strong healthy side.
19. Who is it adressed to?
The target audience is pretty general. Anyone who likes a good snack, is a potential consumer of Kubdu Biltong. We highlight above all,
· Gourmands, meat lovers who like to enjoy good food
· Gastro-curious, those who seek innovative and tasty products, seeking new experiences in your palate.
· Health-seekers: the health conscious and looking for healthy products (low in calories, fat and carbohydrates) and natural.
· Athletes, everyone who does intense physical exercise (1h or more) and needs to regain muscle.
20. Is it suitable for my kids?
Yes, it is an ideal food for children from 4 to 16 years due to its high protein, low calorie, low fat and low in carbohydrates. And a perfect substitute for carbohydrates and fats (cookies, chocolate, bread, pastry, nuts …) that composes the current snack offer. Besides being ideal for after-school activities or lunch, it has a satiating effect.
Interestingly acceptance among children, is 99.99%. They Simply love it!
22. Will African Tastes launch more varieties?
Yes, Kubdu Biltong has only just begun. We have prepared more than 15 new products ready-to-be-launched and we have a pipeline beyond 60 new launches! Playing with the format, with spices, the type of animal and the presentation we will revolutionize the world of snacking with really tasty, healthy and natural snacks.
If you want to contribute with your ideas, do not hesitate to send us your suggestions and we will include them in our innovation process.