FOOD LABELS IN THE FOOD MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY

What do food labels mean and should we take them literally?

We waste an alarming amount of food yearly. Believe it or not expiration dates are not always an accurate representation of a food’s shelf life, yet these labels are causing millions of tonnes of food waste every year. British households throw away 8.3million tons of food and drink a year, with an estimated 5 million tons of that amount still being perfectly edible. This amounts to over 17 million tonnes of CO2: the equivalent of emissions from 4 million cars. Read more

FRESH CUT FRUIT AND VEGETABLES IN FOOD MANUFACTURING

Cash Rich, Time Poor: The Fresh Cut Fruit and Vegetable Demand

Over half of 2 parent families have both parents working full time and today over a third of women are the main bread winners in their families. Women now represent nearly half the UK work force, with a large percentage being working mothers. Read more

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Come and visit us at ProPak Asia 2017

Managing Director, Pamela Nugent will be travelling to Asia to join M&P (Asia) on its stand at ProPak Asia 2017.  The exhibition runs from June 14th to 17th and promises to be Asia’s number one trade event for Asia’s rapidly expanding food, drink, pharmaceutical and FMCG markets. ProPak Asia 2017 will include 8 industry zones for Processing Technology, Packaging Technology, Drink Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology, Lab & Test, Materials, Coding, Marking & Labelling, and Cold chain, Logistics & Warehousing making it easier for buyers and sellers to meet and develop great business together. Read more

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The Fresh Cut Industry Boom

The Fresh Cut Industry is the fastest growing segment in the produce sector. Fresh Cut refers to the pre-cut, pre-washed and packaged fruit and vegetables. Making wholesome fresh fruit and vegetables packaged to be convenient and ready to eat, changing from their original form (peeled, trimmed or cut) but still fresh. Fresh Cut foods are the fastest growing fresh food category worldwide. The International Fresh-Cut Produce Association (IFPA) represents leaders in the Fresh Cut produce industry worldwide, providing them with guidelines, expertise, networking and forums. Read more

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M&P welcomes new team members

Manchester based M&P Engineering is committed to ensuring they develop the right skills within the company as succession planning is a key feature in every aspect of the business. Read more

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Energy Efficiency in the Food Processing Industry.

Energy efficiency, looking after our environment and waste management should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds in every industry. Reducing your environmental impact also has the added benefit of decreasing costs, which makes it an important part of business processes. Read more

Dobmac

Onion Grading And Packing Solutions

M&P engineering is a world renowned food processing equipment manufacturer. M&P is most celebrated for their onion peeling machines, but they also produce other types of food processing equipment such as food filling equipment, food depositing machines and other food processing machinery.

M&P has 2 different types of onion peeling machines: one for large onions, and the other for smaller and pickling onions. The large onion peeling machine can be adapted to also peel shallot onions. M&P’s onion peeling machines are unique because they use a dry peeling processors, being unique from their competitor’s, as M&P’s peeling machines do not need to hold the onion during peeling. The other outstanding features of M&P’s onion peeling machines, is that they allow for continuous operation, without the need for change parts with change of onion sizes.

View our onion peeling machine in action here

Dobmac M&P Engineering Onion Peeling Machine

MP Onion

The History of Onions

The humble onion is one of the oldest cultivated vegetables in history, but botanists, archaeologists and food historians are undecided where onions actually originate from for sure, this is due to their small size, and the fact that their tissues leave negligible trace. Opinion suggests that they were first grown in Iran and West Pakistan. The assumption is that wild onions were eaten in prehistoric times, far before farming was invented. Cultivation of onions is said to have taken place for around 5000 years, with traces of onions found in the bronze age.

There are 2 main opinions about onion cultivation: The first school of thought would say that onions were first domesticated in central Asia, whereas the second school of thought would suggest that they originated from the Middle Eastern Babylonian culture in Iran and West Pakistan. These thoughts are based on the fact that food remnants have been found from this time, but in actual fact, it is thought that onions actually date back earlier than this, but with the lack of evidence this is debatable.

We know that onions were grown in Chinese gardens over 5000 years ago and were also referenced in some of the oldest Indian Verdic writings. Onions are likely to be one of the earliest vegetables to be cultivated, due to their favourable properties. Onions are less perishable than other foods available at the time, they are easy to transport, easy to grow across a range of climate variations and soils. Onions were popular because they prevented thirst, provided a good source of energy and had useful medicinal benefits. Onions can also be preserved for times when perishable food became scarce.

Onions were quickly adopted into religious customs and practices, especially in Ancient Egyptian times. Onions became symbols of eternity and were used in burial ceremonies. Egyptians consider the onion an object of worship, with its circle within a circle structure. Onions were painted on the walls of pyramids and tombs, and were even used in the mummification process. Onions were found in mummified bodies, in the eye sockets, in the pelvis and around the chest. The thought is that Egyptians believed that their strong scent and the magic powers they believed onions had would allow the dead to breathe again. Another opinion suggest Egyptians believed the onion’s antiseptic properties would be useful in the afterlife.

It was written in the bible that Israelites ate onions. In Sixth Century India, the renowned medical treatise Charka, where Sanhita celebrates the onion as a medicine, a diuretic, good for digestion, the heart, the eyes and the joints. In the first century AD, Greek physician Dioscorides wrote about onions medicinal uses: Greeks gave onions to athletes before Olympic Games: eating them, drinking onion juice and rubbing onions on their bodies.

The Romans have also been documented to have eaten onions, carrying them on their journeys to England and Germany. Writings have documented the presence of onions and cabbages in Pompeii, and stating their qualities of being able to cure vision, induce sleep, heal mouth sores, dog bites, toothache, dysentery and lumbago. Archaeologists found cavities, where onion bulbs would have been in the volcano stricken ruins of Pompeii.  Onions were heavily used in one of the first known cookbooks.

By the time of the middle ages in Europe, onions made up one of the 3 main vegetables, along with beans and cabbage. They were even given as wedding gifts and as rent payments. Later in history, the first Pilgrims in America brought onions with them on the Mayflower, but found wild onions already growing throughout North America. Native Americans were using wild onions in cooking, as a dye and even as a toy.

Onions are notoriously difficult to peel, due to their layered composition, and because of their eye watering properties. But as a staple ingredient in the majority of dishes across all cuisines across the world, peeling onions at an industrial speed has never been so important. M&P engineering is a world renowned food processing equipment manufacturer. M&P is most celebrated for their onion peeling machines, but they also produce other types of food processing equipment such as food filling equipment, food depositing machines and other food processing machinery.

M&P has 2 different types of onion peeling machines: one for large onions, and the other for smaller and pickling onions. The large onion peeling machine can be adapted to also peel shallot onions. M&P’s onion peeling machines are unique because they use a dry peeling processors, being unique from their competitor’s, as M&P’s peeling machines do not need to hold the onion during peeling. The other outstanding features of M&P’s onion peeling machines, is that they allow for continuous operation, without the need for change parts with change of onion sizes.

For more information about M&P’s onion peeling machines, or about any of their other food processing machinery and food processing equipment visit http://www.mp-engineering.co.uk/ .

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Health Benefits of Onions

Onions have been a staple in cooking for centuries – they are currently the third most consumed vegetable internationally and their use has been traced to as early as 5000BC.

Like garlic, onions are part of the Allium family; this family has been used throughout history for their added health benefits which continue to be recognised today. Although their dried outer skins do contain quercetin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound, the majority of the health benefits come from the pale flesh and its juices. This essential peeling process can be aided by onion peeling machines like those provided by M & P Engineering.

Raw onions have been found to contain a high level of organic sulphur containing compounds which lose their health benefits with heat as they are cooked. However, raw onion juice can act as an irritant making them hard to digest so cooking the onion is greatly preferred.  Whether raw or cooked, onions act as a natural source of key vitamins needed within a balanced diet; these include vitamins A, B6, C, and E. Vitamin A, also known as retinol, aids the immune response within the body as well as supporting barriers to the exterior environment, such as the skin. Vitamin B6 boosts nutrient metabolism as well as aiding in the synthesis of key products like histamine and haemoglobin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which protects cells from harmful toxins keeping them healthy. Finally, vitamin E helps to protect cell membranes, particularly in the skin and eyes.

Additionally, onions also contain many important minerals needed to keep the body healthy, these include potassium, iron, dietary fibres and folic acid.

M&P has 2 onion peeling machines, one for large onions, and a small peeling machine which is used for smaller/pickling onions and the large machine can be adapted for peeling shallots. Both onion peeling machines use a dry peeling process and are unique to its competitors as they do not hold the onion during peeling.  They also allow for continuous operation, with no change parts needed with a change of onion size.

M&P Engineering also develops a full range of other food processing equipment, such as food filling machines, food packaging machines and sachet filling machines.  For more information about the M&P onion peeling machine, or any other of their food processing equipment click here.

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Indian Onions – no tears when using the M&P onion peeling machine!

The Onion is an essential part of the diet in many cultures and traditions. Being such a versatile vegetable, giving a sweet earthy flavour when cooked, or a sharp twang when eaten raw. In India especially, onions are a vital ingredient for millions of Indians, both rich and poor. As an essential part of Indian everyday cooking, onions are used as a base for curries and feature in many local dishes. Some dishes only have a small amount of onions, some large, but you will always find an onion in an Indian dish somewhere. An onion could never be substituted by any other ingredient.

Indian onions are favoured in Indian dishes, although they can be replaced by other types of onions. Indian onions are preferable as they are less watery. 16 million tonnes of Indian onions are produced annually. There are over 1,700 farmers in the country that auction their crop off 5 to 6 days a week, where traders come from near and far to the city in Western Indian, called Lasalgaon. A third of India’s onions comes from Lasalgaon in the state of Maharashtra, making it Asia’s biggest onion market.

Onions are such a crucial part of Indian culture, that fluctuations in price can cause huge uprisings. Shortages in onions can send prices spiralling, in 2010 the government was forced to ban exports of onions, and even import onions into India, to prevent angry protests. Poorest households spend about 60% of their earnings on food, so when the price of their staple rockets you can understand their dismay. In 2013 the wholesale onion price hit over 270% after rainfall delayed the harvest and damaged the crop. But history has shown the price of onions increase 400%-500%.

Indian Onions are red, and one of the most widely consumed agricultural products around the world. They have a different make up to traditional onions we are used to commonly seeing in the UK market. Indian onions have a squat shape like a garlic clove, as opposed to the round, ball shape onions we see here generally. When used in the food processing industry, they are much more difficult to peel than traditional onions. Most onion cutting machines for the commercial food industry are designed only to cut round onions, and would not be able to peel and cut Indian onions.

M&P Engineering is a UK based manufacturer of onion peeling machines. Their machines are world leaders, being famed for their ability to expertly peel smaller onions and shallots, as well as unusually shaped onions such as the Indian Onion.  Ordinarily onion peelers struggle to peel small onions, or Indian onions, but the M&P large onion peeler is available in two versions, one for larger onions, and the shallot peeling machine for smaller onions and shallots. They also manufacture a small machine for pickling onions.  The M&P onion peeling machine does not hold the onion during peeling unlike some other commercial peelers and uses compressed air to remove the skin. M&P’s machine is a dry onion peeling process, and is able to process up to 750kg of onions per hour. The hassle free maintenance onion peeling machine is loved as it produces peeled onions comparable to hand peeled onions, with little waste, and at very high speeds.

M&P Engineering also develops and manufactures other food processing machinery such as depositors and fillers. Their food depositors and food filling equipment is designed for countless applications, such as filling free flowing products and solids. M&P offers an extensive range of supporting attachments and accessories and can also design and develop bespoke nozzles and systems. M&P provides all their customers with a comprehensive warranty with excellent customer care. M&P also supplies refurbished and used food processing machinery.

For more information about M&P’s products of services, visit www.mp-engineering.co.uk.