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 manufacturer and supplier of food production, preparation and filling equipment based in the Manchester, England. M&P’s equipment is used by food manufacturers worldwide having served in the industry for over 50 years. New to M&P’s product range is the Carousel Grid Cutting Machine, a highly versatile machine that can cut vegetables and fruits into fries, batons, wedges, petals and slices. With an output of 4,800 pieces for hour, M&P’s Carousel Grid Cutting Machine is one of the most productive machines of its kind available on the market.

In addition to the Carousel Grid Cutting Machine, M&P also manufactures and supplies onion peelers, fillers, depositors and rotary transfer units to cater for a wide range of food manufacturing needs. To discuss any of these products with a member of the M&P Engineering team, call 0161 872 8378 or click here.

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