January 30, 2023

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Al Dlou’a Grocery | Selling ribs with added water

OSLO (Nettavisen): Huge quantities of ribs are bought before Christmas. Approximately 2.5 million people just ate ribs for dinner on Christmas Eve. Now it turns out that some ribs contain not only ribs, but also a lot of water and something else.

Are they doing this to get better meat or to raise the price per kilogram? It feels like a bit of a cheat, says Evi Litovchenko, 41, whom we met at Kiwi in central Oslo.

Helena Bø is located nearby at Rima 1000 to shop for groceries.

– I don’t mind if they splash water in the meat, I pay for the water, you say.

inject water

Kiwi, Meny, and Rema each sell 1,000 ribs with added water. Prima 1000 contains Spicy Thin Rib from Prima Lavpris brand. Here, just over 4 percent of the content has added water.

The spicy thin rib sold in both Kiwi and Meny has almost double the amount of water added, up to 8 percent.

– We get water from the tap for free, I’m not interested in paying for the water injected into the meat I buy, says Eric Lelibeau. He has 25 years of experience as a chef and is the co-owner of Fagals & Cod.

A box of ribs contains a quarter liter of water

The ribs from First Price and Prima are cheap produce, but you’re paying for more than just the meat.

It’s okay that these products are cheap, but the injected water has nothing to do with the rib, Lilbo says.

If you buy a three-kilogram piece of prima-rib, the piece of meat itself weighs only 2.85 kilograms. The price I paid also includes 1.3 dl of water injected into the meat.

If you buy a three-kilogram piece of First Price rib-eye, the piece of meat itself weighs only 2.72 kilograms. The price you paid includes approximately one quart of water injected.


This is the content of the ribs

Spicy prime rib price

steak with bone in, 91 per cent.

water 8%.

These ingredients make up 1%: Salt, Potato Fiber, Glucose, Antioxidant, E301 (Sodium Ascorbate), Black Pepper.

Spicy prime rib great low price

Soda meat from pork with 7 bones and skin, 95 percent.

water 4.3%.

Salt and pepper 0.7 percent.

– deceiving customers

There are distinct differences in how the two ribs are distinguished, and how easy it is to see that the product has added water.

On the packaging from First Price, which we found at Kiwi, it says 8 percent rib has been added. Admittedly, it’s in small print, but the writing is highlighted and placed at the top left above the ingredient list.

“Transparency is important to us, and we clearly inform the consumer that a product contains water, whether it is labeled or in the ingredient list,” says Kine Søyland, head of communications at Norgesgruppen, which owns the First Price brand.

– Eric Lilibeau says it doesn’t help to write it on the packaging in small print, it deceives customers.

On the packaging of the rib that we found on the Rema 1000, it does not indicate that the rib has added water. The presence of water in the ribs is only explained by saying that water is a constituent. The amount of water is also not specified. You have to find out for yourself, by looking at how much meat and spices the product contains.

However, this classification is in line with the regulations. Only when the amount of water added is more than 5 percent by weight should the percentage of water be stated.

Nettavisen Rima 1000 has made aware of the mark. Now the chain of stores announces the changes.

– The product is marked as containing water and this is in compliance with the regulations. To be clear, we will label the product with “water added” in the next edition, says Rema 1000 Communications Director Hege Rognlien.

He refuses to gain weight

First Price and Norgesgruppen deny that they add water to gain weight and thus make more money.

– This has nothing to do with the need to gain weight, says Søyland.

– This is a spicy product, and therefore seasoning is added in the form of brine, which must also contain water, says Søyland.

The Rema 1000 also uses brine, but gets about half as much water as the first price.

– The brine will be able to contribute to a juicier result and the finished ribs can also be very useful for many customers in preparation so you don’t have to salt ahead of time, says Hege Rognlien at Rema 1000.

Søyland and Rognlien also point out that brine can make the ribs more durable.

– This is a manipulation of the ribs

Chef Eric Lelibeau is in no way convinced that it is wise to sprinkle water and salt on the ribs. He doesn’t rule out that it might make the ribs mushy, but he says he’ll never buy ribs with added water.

– This is rib gouging, something the industry does, which I as a chef would never do.

– They should stop spraying water on the meat. But if they want to keep it going, labeling should improve anyway. Now I think that’s misleading, says Helena Bo (56), a customer of the store.

– There’s no excuse that these are cheap ribs. You shouldn’t cheat even if it’s cheap goods, says Evy Litovchenco (41).

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