Canned vegetables: from the field straight to your plate
Even though they keep for a long time, canned fruit and vegetables have not lost all their vitamins, fibre and minerals. In fact, quite the contrary! They are prepared straight after being harvested, retaining their delicious flavour and nutritious goodness!
Canned fruit and vegetables are produced using processes which allow both taste and nutritional value to be preserved.
Cooked and prepared instantly!
The canning of vegetables is an incredibly speedy process, they are cooked and prepared just like that! Let’s take green beans as an example. They are harvested from July to September. Hundreds of machines process the crop, and bring the produce to factories in close proximity to the fields where the crops are grown. Here, in just a few hours, the produce is peeled, trimmed, sorted and graded. After this the green beans are blanched, which means they are plunged in boiling water for a few seconds. This is designed to preserve the nutritional value and to stop any microbic and enzymatic activity which causes the vegetables to start to spoil.
In the hour after this process, beans are put in tins with a little bit of water and salt. The tin can or glass jar is then closed and sterilised. They will be stored before being freighted over to distributors. All this takes place in the space of a few hours, in a factory running at full capacity during harvest time.
It is the same for all other vegetables and fruits: they are harvested when ripe and put in cans within at least five hours.
Jam packed with nutritious goodness
Storing vegetables or fruit long term reduces their content in vitamins and minerals, and also affects the quality of their fibre. These problems have influenced how the canning process has been developed. The produce is never refrigerated and there is also no point at which the products are left out in hangars under the sun. In blanching the produce for only a few seconds and only adding water and a little salt, conservation does not affect the quality of the products. The sterilisation phase has the same effect as cooking fresh vegetables at home.
One good thing to know is that when you eat these products, you don’t need to throw away the juice! It isn’t that salty (between 0.2 and 1.4g of salt per 100g of canned produce), and it contains vegetable minerals which have diffused into the water.
Quality vegetables all year round!
Apart from all this, canned vegetables are also a good way to eat healthy food whatever the season, all year round.
When it comes to quality, there is no need to fret. To guarantee products with unbeatable quality, production and harvesting of the produce is subject to strict industry standards. Furthermore, a partnership exists between agricultural producers and the food industry right from the initial cultivation of the land, through fertilisation and protection, up until harvest and delivery to the factories. This is all in an effort to build sustainable agriculture, offering high quality products while respecting the environment.
Most of your vegetables will be kept in the fridge, but always keep cans in the cupboard too! The main attraction of tinned fruit and vegetables is that they keep for months or even years, without any need for refrigeration or preservation. Always having a ready supply of fruit and veg is really helpful for making sure you get your five a day.
Make sure you don’t eat just these though, and vary your products instead. On top of the salt added, certain canned vegetables, like peas, are slightly sweetened, and canned fruit is also usually high in sugar. Compotes without sugar are an exception to this, along with jars of fruit with no additives.
Finally, there is still a use-by date, but this does not relate to the organoleptic quality of the produce. In fact, tinned vegetables are less crunchy and lifeless after around three years. Canned goods are long lasting products, however, and do not present any health risk if they are consumed after the suggested use-by date.
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