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.
The demand for chilled Fresh Cut produce has witnessed dramatic growth in the past 10 years, triggered by increasingly health conscious consumers demand for fresh, healthy, convenient and additive free foods which are safe and nutritious. Consumers are also becoming more interested in international tastes and flavours, with tropical fresh cut fruits and vegetables being extremely popular in western markets.
The Fresh Cut produce industry is dynamic with innovations and new developments almost daily. Technological advancements in the 80’s and 90’s such as improved washers, continuous driers, faster and more reliable packaging machines provided the base need to allow the fresh-cut industry to soar. The food quality, hygiene and shelf life have increased significantly since.
Developing countries that have not previously used Fresh Cut have begun to have flourishing Fresh-Cut markets. The successful introduction of fresh cut apples and grapes in McDonald’s has been a driving force for other food outlets to follow suit. Innovations such as microwavable packaging help make fresh food more accessible to people’s busy day to day lives.
The quality of Fresh Cut produce relies on choosing the right varieties of fruit and vegetables. Choosing produce that grows optimally in a particular season and region. Important characteristics include uniform size, high yields and the ability to be harvested mechanically and become ripe uniformly and reduced waste.
For something like a Fresh Cut salad, the colour and appearance is crucial, picking leaves with attractive colours and leaf shapes is important. People ‘eat with their eyes’ so appearance is important, but if the food’s flavour, texture and aroma are not appealing, consumers will not repeat purchase.
The food industry has responded well to the increasing consumer demand for Fresh Cut produce with innovative use of technology and skilful marketing initiatives. Fresh Cut production does not require much in product transformation, but it does require investment in technology and equipment.
UK based food processing and food machinery manufacturers, M&P Engineering has established itself as a market leader worldwide. With 2 manufacturing facilities in the North West of England, they deliver their food processing machinery worldwide. M&P has positioned numerous distribution agents worldwide.
M&P Engineering is famed for its onion peeling machines which are unique as they utilise a dry peeling process, that does not leave any waste slurry to deal with. M&P also manufactures food fillers and food depositor machinery. Depositors fall into 3 categories: single shot depositors, multi head depositors and multi head solids depositors. The fillers include inline fillers, rotary piston fillers, rotary solids fillers and Monobloc fillers.
M&P is focused on providing excellent customer service to its clients as well as continually investing in product development to stay at the forefront of the food processing machinery market.
Speak to M&P Engineering today to discuss your food processing equipment requirements here.