Pasta Polemic Develops Over Flash Freezers
| September 24, 2011 | 6:03pm
Tortellini & Co., Inc., says that it rented several freezers and entered into a contract to purchase nitrogen gas from Air Liquide, an international refrigeration concern, in 2009, court docs indicate.
The company -- which makes fagottini, gnocci, ravioli, fettuccine, among other pastas -- uses a flash freezing process to preserve the pasta. According to Tortellini's website, the liquid-nitrogen method keeps the pasta fresh-tasting, whereas conventional freezing creates water droplets and sogginess.
Here's what Tortellini says happened: The company claims that it told Air Liquide about very specific freezing needs. What works for harder, meat-based foodstuffs ruins soft, noodle-based items, Tortellini claims.
Alas, Tortellini says that "instead of supplying equipment and nitrogen for a pasta operation, the Defendant provided equipment that is designed for freezing seafood, meat or other heavy solid foods."
Tortellini claims that the equipment was defective and broke down, ruining pasta inventory, and that Air Liquide tried to bilge them on over-priced nitrogen.
Tortellini is now demanding a jury trial, to get its money back, court filings indicate.