As the production and consumption of fresh cut produce continues to rise, the challenge for food processers is maintaining the fresh like characteristics of their produce. The issue with fresh cut produce is that it has a notoriously short shelf life due to its much larger cut surface. The loss of quality parameters such as colour, flavour and juiciness all result in a limited shelf-life and increase the possibility of rejection from the consumer. Thus, food processors are faced with the task of prolonging these qualities to improve shelf life and after a number of major developments in recent years, the solution is closer than ever before.

Advancements in packaging technology has seen production of edible films and coatings. These provide a barrier and protection for fresh cut produce whilst enhancing its quality and safety. What is unusual about this form of packaging is that it can be consumed, meaning the produce can be eaten without the need to unpack and throw the package away, giving it a huge advantage over traditional methods.

A study by scientists from the University of Bologna suggested that the use of protective cultures, particularly lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have the potential for increasing the shelf life of fresh cut produce. In this study, LAB was added to a strain of lettuce during the washing phase instead of chlorine. The results indicated that LAB could be a possible option for improving the safety and shelf life of the produce.

M&P Engineering is a leading manufacturer of food production, preparation and filling equipment. With over 50 years’ in the industry, M&P Engineering has grown to become a global business, with distribution agents all over the world and supplying to almost every continent – Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.

As part of their food preparation range, M&P Engineering manufacturers high quality fresh cut machinery such as the Carousel Grid Cutting Machine. This versatile fresh cut machine is capable of cutting vegetables and fruit in to fries, batons, wedges, petals and slices. If you would like to find out more about M&P Engineering’s fresh cut machinery, call 0161 872 8378 or here.