By Margarita Chrysaki
This year, the International Taste & Quality Institute (iTQi) – the leading international certification body dedicated to certifying superior tasting food and beverages, organized its Superior Taste Awards 2017 on the 14th June in Brussels.
Some 135 top European Chefs and Sommeliers compose its Jury and evaluated 1.989 submitted products from 83 countries, from which only 1.372 were awarded having received a score over 70%. During the ceremony, these products were granted a «Superior Taste Award» of one, two or three golden stars, similar as the Michelin guide of gastronomy. Finally, a live testing session took place from Alan Coxon, a famous TV Chef and British television presenter.
Among the granted companies for which their products have obtained more that 70% score of the sensory evaluation thanks to their excellent taste quality were three Greek family businesses.
“It is an international recognition that will help us to cooperate with many international firms” says Angeliki Petrou, Quality and RnD Manager of Petrounuts. “Everybody knows about this award due to its transparent process through the evaluation of a product”. The Petrounuts hazelnut production by the Petrou family aims to the self-sufficiency and production of organic raw materials and is situated in the town of Agia, 35 km east from Larisa in Greece.
“Consumers can understand the good or bad quality of a product” emphasizes Lamprini Portokalidis, the RnD Manager of Portokalidis Family. “People do care about the quality of the products they are buying. Therefore, iTQi award is the biggest guarantee, the ticket to show them that your product is recognized for its gustative qualities!” she concludes. Portokalidis Family has got among others a great tradition for its traditional pies and this year was awarded for three products, one of them receiving 3 golden stars and the other two, two golden stars.
“iTQi Superior Taste Award gives added value to our business” says Alex Kipouros Sales Manager of CHRISANTHIDIS SA, a company well-known for its kourabies (sugared bun) a Greek traditional and 100% handmade product produced in N. Karvali – Kavala in Greece. “Nowadays the competition is big in the industrial sector but at the end of the day consumers select only products of excellent quality. ITQi is the highest distinction for the proven exceptional quality of our product and opens for us the doors for the global market”.
Furthermore, products that have obtained 3 golden stars for three consecutive years are awarded the “Crystal Taste Award”. The “Diamond Taste Award” is given to products awarded a 3 stars 7 times by different juries over the last 10 years. This is really the highest distinction dedicated to products with proven consistency in exceptional quality.
by Margarita Chrysaki, a Brussels-based journalist, a BSc and a Master in Political Sciences