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Using a classic pub favourite — fish and chips — as a starting point, we reformulated the recipe to improve the nutrient profile, cost, and environmental impact. The final recipe aligns with industry portion size standards and is consistent with published tested recipes.

Below is a summary of the changes we made.

  • The fat used to fry the potato chips was changed from beef dripping to vegetable oil.

  • The portion of chips was reduced from 500g to 285g to align with portion size recommendations advised by the UK fish and chip industry’s industry’s largest ever research project, ‘Enjoy Fish & Chips’, a joint campaign from Seafish, the industry authority on seafood and AHDB.

  • The portion size of cod was reduced from 255g to 150g.

  • The quantity of batter was reduced from 320g to 170g.

  • Half of the ale in the batter was substituted with sparkling water.

  • Processed peas were replaced with frozen peas and the portion size was reduced from 125g to 80g.

Fish and Chip Recipe Reformulation

Reformulation results: nutritional profile

The reformulated dish was significantly lower in calories and fat than the original, with 1,160 kcals compared to 2,237 — a 48% reduction of calories, equivalent to 6 x 32g packet crisps or 4 x 100ml chocolate-coated ice creams! At the same time, saturated fat dropped from 24g to just 2.7g, a massive 89% reduction. Salt was reduced from 1.8g to 0.51g, a 72% cut.

Reformulation results: sustainability

The environmental impact of the dish was reduced dramatically. Greenhouse gas emissions (measured in Co2 per serving) dropped from 3kg to 0.95kg, changing the Foodprint sustainability score from an E to a C. To put this in relatable terms, the CO2 saved per serving would have taken a tree 34.153 days to absorb, and is equivalent to traveling 7.95km on the London underground!

In addition, the water saved per serving was reduced from 1,940L to 786L — a saving equivalent to spending 77 minutes in the shower.

Reformulation results: production cost

A striking result was the cost saving per portion. The original fish and chip recipe cost €6.69* per portion, compared to the reformulated version which cost just €3.74. This saving of €2.95 per portion is significant — assuming 50 orders of fish and chips per day, this adds up to a monthly saving of €4,130!