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International beanmonger HJ Heinz is to field test in New Zealand a frozen sandwich "beans on toast" combo which can be lovingly prepared by sticking it in the toaster for about a minute, The Guardian reports.

The new product - which we estimate will cut the amount of time the average university student spends cooking every evening by 50 per cent - reportedly features "a wodge of beans sealed in their frozen sauce between two slices of bread".

And before you start mocking Heinz's latest attempt to keep ahead of the game in the dog-eat-novelty-microwaveable-mini-pizza world of convenience food, be aware that it earlier this year supplied Barbeque Sauce and Seafood Cocktail Sauce as "bonus food items" to the International Space Station's Expedition 13 crew, in addition to the Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Mayonnaise, Mustard and Mild Taco Sauce which have already earned their space wings as regular components of the ISS's "standard US condiment kit".

Becky Serafini, senior brand manager, Heinz Foodservice marketing (Ketchup, Condiments & Sauces), enthused: "We're thrilled that NASA has selected us. It's an honor to be chosen as part of the program.

"The condiments, enjoyed by millions of people throughout the world, are now officially 'out of this world'. Consumers enjoy our sauces in almost every conceivable place to eat away from home. Space was one place we hadn't considered in the past, but now we've extended our supply of great taste beyond any borders we imagined."

In related beans news, UK students looking for a more balanced diet should note that Heinz has developed an exciting range of Mean Beanz, "cooked with secret spice blends to create four new flavours authentic in look and taste: Sweet Chilli, Mexican, Jalfrezi and Tikka". It appears, however, that these beans will at least require the use of a tin-opener and saucepan and could cut valuable minutes from scarce drinking time. ®

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