Saturday 26 May 2018

Paganini scoops Bord Bia innovation award

Barry Murphy and Amy Pettitt sample the award-winning Paganini ice cream.
Barry Murphy and Amy Pettitt sample the award-winning Paganini ice cream.
Michael Carey, chairman of Bord Bia, Barry and Tomas Murphy both from Paganini, winners of the Innovation Award category for FitFuel, and Simon Coveney TD, Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Padraig byrne

WEXFORD'S own Paganini Ice Cream managed to 'scoop' a big award at the Bord Bia Food and Drink Awards on Thursday night. The company, which was founded by dairy farmer Tomás Murphy in 1990, managed to claim the Bord Bia Innovation award at what is regarded of the 'Oscars' of the Industry.

The innovative product which led to their nomination was Fit Fuel – protein-enriched ice cream which is designed to help athletes recover from physical exertions and build muscle, as well as help patients in hospitals to regain their strength following medical procedures.

The product is the brainchild of Tomás's son Barry who worked as a physiotherapist in the US for six of years before returning to Ireland to join his father in the family business.

'I suppose the idea came from my time working as a physio in the states,' said Barry. 'I suppose through my work in hospitals out there I could see that some patients struggled to regain strength and while a lot of patients can struggle to eat their main meal in the hospital, I noticed that they all tend to be able to eat the ice cream. Similarly, I was involved in sports out there too and I noticed a gap in the market for a real food alternative to the likes of protein shakes and protein bars.'

When Barry returned to the family business in Wexford, he remembered the gap in the market and the result is the Fit Fuel range. Fit Fuel Perform is a low fat ice cream enriched with 20g of protein which is marketed as a recovery product for athletes. According to Barry, in order to feel the benefits of a workout, it is essential that 20g of protein is consumed within 20 minutes of carrying out exercise.

Fit Fuel Nourish contains 10g of protein and is more marketed towards hospitals and care homes to assist dieticians in boosting the protein intake of patients.

Tomás and Barry were both delighted to receive the Innovation Award from Minister Simon Coveney at a special ceremony at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Thursday evening.

New Ross Standard