Vegetables are our daily food, but fresh-cut vegetables have also become the mainstream vegetables of the times, which cater to consumers’ purchasing needs, and the vegetables that are bought back can be eaten after a little processing. Now all major supermarkets are selling processed vegetables in packaging, so fresh vegetables processing has a good prospect. What is the important technology of fresh vegetable processing? What needs to be done to implement this technology? The following article will give you the answer.
Definition of freshly processed vegetables
Clean vegetables, also known as fresh-cut vegetables, freshly sterilized vegetables, semi-processed vegetables or lightly processed vegetables, refer to fresh vegetables that have undergone a series of treatments such as grading, sorting, selection, cleaning, dicing, preservation and packaging in a sterile environment. A product that is vacuum-packed and kept fresh.
Fresh Vegetable Processing Technology
- Preservative technology: There are two kinds of preservatives: chemical synthesis and natural preservatives. Most of the chemical preservatives have certain side effects and bring certain pollution to the clean vegetables. It is necessary to strictly limit the type, dosage and time of use of chemical preservatives.
- Low-temperature refrigeration and preservation technology: low temperature not only inhibits the respiration intensity of vegetable tissue, reduces the speed of various physiological and biochemical reactions, delays aging and inhibits browning, but also inhibits the growth of microorganisms. Therefore, the selection, washing, packaging, storage, transportation and sales of clean vegetables need to be carried out at low temperature in order to keep them fresh. Experts believe that after the clean vegetables are packaged, they should be stored in a cold storage (≤5°C), and transported and sold using a cold chain (≤5°C).
- Modified atmosphere preservation technology: The basic principle is to passively form a modified atmosphere environment in the bag through the gas exchange inside and outside the bag and the respiration of the product in the bag, or fill the bag with a specific nitrogen gas with a special mixed gas. The goal is to create an ideal gas condition in the packaging bag that reduces the product respiration rate as much as possible without adversely affecting the product and anaerobic respiration.
- Biological control technology: use the metabolites of some beneficial microorganisms to inhibit harmful microorganisms, thereby prolonging the storage period of food, such as lactic acid produced by lactic acid bacteria fermentation.
The steps of processing fresh vegetables
- Picking: peel off the skin, leaves, and roots (that is, remove the non-edible part so that the edible part can reach more than 90%)
- Cleaning: Cleaning is an effective means to remove impurities, soil and dirt attached to raw materials and reduce the number of bacteria. The key to the technology is the correct use of disinfectants and scientific cleaning methods. Commonly used disinfection water: sodium hypochlorite solution or chlorine water, which has less damage to organisms. Physical cleaning method: bubble cleaning, eddy current cleaning, etc.
- Slicing: Slicing will cause discoloration and corruption of vegetables, so try to reduce the number of cuts. A vegetable cutter is used, and the cutter should be a thin, sharp-edged food-grade stainless steel knife. It can be cut into different shapes according to the needs of vegetable processing.
- Color protection: that is, to prevent the browning of fresh-cut vegetables. There are many factors that affect the browning of vegetables, mainly the activity of polyphenol oxidase, the concentration of phenolic compounds, pH value, temperature and the content of available oxygen in tissues.
- Dehydration: Usually a centrifuge is used. Take different speed and time according to different vegetables.
- Packaging: The packaging of clean vegetables is generally made of plastic film bags, which have both packaging and modified atmosphere storage functions. Each package should be marked with the product name, weight or quantity, variety, origin, etc.
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