The Heart Foundation Tick has netted its first five star chef, with northern Sydney gourmet chain Pizzacutters* launching six Tick approved pizzas today.
Co-founder of Pizzacutters, Sam Lumbroso, was a five star hotel chef before joining brother Simon at Pizzacutters in 1998. With outlets in Wahroonga, Castle Hill and Mona Vale, Pizzacutters is now embarking on a national franchise expansion strategy.
“As a chef, it’s easy to reach for the butter, cream and salt to boost flavour. When you’re trying to earn the Tick, this isn’t an option as your recipes must meet the Heart Foundation’s strict nutrition standards,” said Heart Foundation Food Supply Operations Manager, Coral Colyer.
“Pizzacutters has shown that with some creativity, quality ingredients and a serious commitment to health, you can produce tasty gourmet pizzas that are still a healthier choice.”
A Tick approved pizza at Pizzacutters has on average two thirds less salt and one third less saturated fat than comparable pizzas sold by the top two chains. Independent tests guarantee it.
The Tick approved Pizzacutters menu items include: Cheese Steak; Chicken Cashew; Rocket Chicken; Vege Delight; Vege Pesto; and Beef Bernaise. Each features a wholemeal base to increase fibre, while salt and saturated fat levels are kept in check by using moderate amounts of high quality cheese as well as fresh vegetables and meats.
Pizzacutters is the second Australian pizza chain to respond to the Heart Foundation’s challenge, with Crust Gourmet Pizza bars launching the first Tick approved pizzas in early 2008.
With two relatively small, Australian companies now managing to earn the Tick, the Heart Foundation is calling on the pizza market leaders to provide genuinely healthier options. The Heart Foundation is serious about making a real difference to the popular foods Australians eat and almost half the population eats pizza.
“Healthier choices are essential in the pizza market with Australians buying more than 190 million take away pizzas each year1 and 15% of us indulging with a pizza on a weekly basis2,” said Ms Coyer.
“The Heart Foundation measures a healthier meal by its overall nutritional value; not just one element. Fresh ingredients are great, but the health benefit is lost when the overall meal is loaded with salt and claims of ‘low fat’ are irrelevant if the meal provides little or no nutritional value,” she added.
The achievement of Pizzacutters has provided the Heart Foundation with a renewed call to chefs around Australia to take the ‘taste and health challenge’.
“Programs like MasterChef have seen a focus on ingredients, flavour and creativity. Now, it’s time to bring ‘health’ into the discussion too,” said Ms Colyer. “We need more people working in kitchens – commercially or at home – to show that taste and health are not mutually exclusive when it comes to food.”
* Pizzacutters outlets are located in Wahroonga, Mona Vale and Castle Hill, with delivery to surrounding areas. See http://www.pizzacutters.com.au.
About the Heart Foundation:
This year the Heart Foundation marks its 50th anniversary as Australia’s leading voice on heart health. The Heart Foundation saves lives and improves health through funding world class cardiovascular research, guidelines for health professionals, informing the public and assisting people with cardiovascular disease.
As a charity, the Heart Foundation relies on donations and gifts in Wills to continue its lifesaving research, education and health promotion work. For further information visit
www.heartfoundation.org.au or call 1300 36 27 87.
About the Heart Foundation Tick
The Heart Foundation Tick has been helping Australians make healthier choices for 20 years. Tick approved foods have been independently tested to meet Heart Foundation standards limiting saturated fat, trans fat, salt and kilojoules and encouraging positive nutrients like fibre and calcium. It’s our challenge to food companies to give you a better, healthier food.