Consumers in the UK discard over 6.7 million tonnes of food each year, with fruit and vegetables accountable for 40% of this figure. The reason being is that fruit and vegetables have short life spans and can go off long before they have a chance to be used.
Up to 90% of all fruit and veg waste is the result of fresh produce that is thrown away due to not being used in time (Source: Wrap, 2019). Clearly, keeping fruit and veg fresh can be a pain but it need not be. If the right steps are taken, prolonging the life span of fruit and veg produce can be easily achieved despite waste statistics suggesting otherwise. So, how can this be done? Here are some tips to follow in future:
Keep tomatoes out of the fridge
Storing tomatoes in the fridge may seem like a sure-fire way to keep them fresher for longer but think again! When exposed to cold temperatures, tomatoes lose their flavor and texture in just a matter of days therefore storing them in the fridge is not advisable. Instead, put them in a bowl lined with a paper towel and store at room temperature whilst ensuring the stems are the top as this is the area that is most likely to bruise and lead to rotting. To avoid the tomatoes bruising sooner, move them around the bowl regularly and keep out of direct sunlight and heat sources.
Leafy greens must be wrapped
Generally speaking, leafy greens should be consumed within 2 days if they are to remain fresh and full of nutrients. However, due to their short life span, consumers are often left needing to preserve these vegetables for later use. The best way to do this is to wrap the unwashed leaves in a paper towel so that excess moisture is not absorbed by the leaves, thus preventing them rotting quickly. Once the leaves have been wrapped, put them in plastic bags and keep in the fridge where they will last for another 2-3 days.
Give your lettuce and herbs an ice bath
For greens that have been left wilted, an ice bath can revive them back to full freshness. Simply place any lettuce leaves or herbs that have started to wilt in a bowl of ice water and shake them around for a 1-2 minutes. After this time, the greens will awaken and begin to look fresh and new once more.
M&P Engineering has over 50 years’ experience in designing, manufacturing and installing food processing equipment across the globe. M&P’s food processing equipment is used by major food manufacturers worldwide. M&P is most famed for its world-renowned onion peeling machines, that feature a unique dry peeling process, eliminating the production of waste slurry. M&P Engineering’s large onion peeler uses self-adjusting knife assemblies to top, tail and peel onions between 45mm to 115mm diameter, with a capacity of up to 750kg of onions per hour.
M&P’s new food processing equipment has fresh cut in mind. New technology is constantly being developed and improved to meet the ever-increasing demand for fresh fruit and vegetables ready to eat. One of M&P’s latest innovations is the Carousel Grid Cutting Machine. The versatile machine is able to cut fruit and vegetables into fries, batons, wedges, petals and slices, and can produce up to 4,800 pieces per hour.
For more information about M&P’s food processing equipment, click here or call 0161 872 8378.