Category Archives: Technology

A-Z Guide on How to Store Vegetables without Plastic – Part 3

A-Z-Guide-Green-tomato

Green Tomatoes

Store in a cool room away from the sun to keep them green and use quickly or they will begin to colour.

 

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Green-herbs

Herbs

Herbs stored in a closed container in the fridge can be kept up to a week. Any longer might encourage mold.

 

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Green-Lettuce

Lettuce

Keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

 

Leeks

Leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Green-Okra

Okra

Okra does not like humidity. Use a dry towel to wrap it up and store in an airtight container. Best to be eaten soon after purchase, as it does not store well.

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Onion

Onions

Store in a cool, dark and dry place – Good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.

 

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-poteto

Potatoes

Like garlic and onions, potatoes need to be stored in a cool, dark and dry place, such as a box in a dark corner of the pantry. A paper bag also works.

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Raddish

Radishes

Remove greens (store green separately), so they don’t draw out excess moisture from the roots and place them in an open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top.

 

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Green-spinich

Spinach

Store loose in an open container in the crisper.

 

 

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-Spring-Onions

Spring Onions

Remove any bands or ties and store in the crisper.

 

 

 

 

A-Z-Guide-tomato

Tomatoes

Never refrigerate tomatoes. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to 2 weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness, place in a paper bag along with an apple.

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Vacuum Packing – A POPULAR TREND IN OUR SHOWROOMS

McCurrie-Vacum-pack

Packaging in General

Packaging in any form is an important part of product processing and preservation and has a direct influence on the system in respect of physical and chemical changes.

Packaging has undergone some innovative product developments to help ensure a safe and more nutritious food supply. One method of packaging that may be used for products such as ready-to-eat products and spices is vacuum packaging, where the product is placed in a plastic or aluminium foil pouch and most of the air is removed. The package around the vacuumed product allows the internal atmosphere to be retained so that the product stays fresh and safe.

The plastic used for vacuum packaging should be carefully chosen, because not all plastics are equally resistant to gas.

Vacuum Packaging

Vacuum packaging refers to the technology wherein the product to be packed in placed in a pouch of suitable material and air is drawn from the pack prior to the final sealing. The removal of air eliminates oxygen which affects food in various ways, such as odour, colour, taste and texture and allows for longer storage.

One of the important properties of vacuum packing is the extent to which it is able to resist the passage of gases and vapour.

Vacuum packaged products need to be refrigerated, as some organisms are resistant to high carbon dioxide levels. Their growth is slower at lower temperatures.

Advantages of Vacuum Packaging

  • A simple solution to packaging goods requiring protection from oxygen.
  • Positive control of the moisture content of the product.
  • Inhibits the growth of aerobic spoilage bacteria.
  • Lower costs than those of rigid containers.
  • Longer shelf life for goods.
  • Larger quantities of food can be purchased and kept over a longer period of time and bulk purchases are often cheaper.
  • Vacuum packaging decreases food waste due to spoilage.
  • Not only fresh, perishable foods benefit from vacuum packaging, dried foods also keep longer when vacuum packaged.
  • Vacuum packaging allows more efficient use of time. Food can be prepared in advance without loss of freshness, so slack times are more productive and busy times are more manageable.
  • Vacuum packaging reduces product shrinkage. There is no moisture loss or evaporation in a sealed vacuum bag. Therefore, the weight you purchase will be the same.

At Mc Currie Spice 1st Showrooms, we have vacuum packed items and also vacuum packing could be done to customer requirements. We have also created a niche among our customers, as we vacuum pack cooked items that our customers bring in. Our key customers are parents whose sons and daughters are studying abroad. This is proof enough of the valuable service we render to customers by way of our quality vacuum packing process.

So, the next time you wish to take Mc Currie products or your home-cooked food abroad, visit the Mc Currie Spice 1st Showrooms where you can get it vacuum packed to suit your needs!

 

The Rush for Ethnic Foods and Ingredients on a Background of Curtailment or Complete Eradication of Cancer

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Americans have come to want more ethnic food and ingredients in their diet. It may not have been so some years ago. It may be due to the medicinal values that ethnic ingredients contain. As it is widely known, lots of spices have valuable medicinal qualities that play an important role in curing or at least bringing relief to some major illnesses.

Although ethnic food offers flavours that are powerful and distinct, their indulgence subtly brings in an amazing amount of nutritional and health benefits.

Studies have revealed that spices have a range of health benefits. Although all countries and races bear the burden of cancer and there is not one country in the world that is not affect, studies have revealed that the highest incidence of cancer are in western countries. It might be interesting to note that the cancer rate in India is considerably lower than those in more developed countries, such as the United States. However, some say that India has a high cancer rate. Although this has been said, it is interesting to note that India does not occupy a slot in the Global Statistic Rates of Cancer in the ten worst countries, which are predominantly western countries.

It is the writer’s opinion that the reason for the low rate of cancer in India is the consumption of spices that has led to the curtailment of the disease. It is really the western lifestyle that is to be blamed for the high percentage of cancer in these countries.

Cancer fighting spices are Garlic, Turmeric and Rosemary. If one sits back and ponders, none of these spices are used in abundance in western countries. For example, Garlic has immune enhancing alluim compounds that appear to increase the activity of immune cells that fight cancer and indirectly help break down cancer causing substances. These substances also help block carcinogens from entering cells and slow tumor development. According to Dr. Lenore Arab, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who compiled a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Issue 2000, people who consume raw or cooked garlic regularly, face about half the risk of stomach cancer and two thirds of the risk of colorectal cancer, as people who eat little or none. It is believed that garlic may help prevent stomach cancer because it has anti-bacterial effects against a bacterium, Helicobacter Pylori, found in the stomach and known to promote cancer there.

In the Michigan Daily, it was reported that Turmeric may help fight cancer. Preliminary evidence suggests that turmeric can enhance the cancer fighting power of treatment with Tumor Necrosis Factory-Related Apoptosis Inducing Ligand (TRAIL), a naturally occurring molecule used to kill cancer cells. According to a study, author Subhash Gautam, a Researcher at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, he says, “Using these two agents – Turmeric and TRAIL, we killed up to 80% of cells in culture, which is remarkable.”

The sulfur-containing compounds that give garlic its pungent odor are also responsible for its role as a cancer-fighting food. The National Cancer Institute “recognizes garlic as one of several vegetables with potential anticancer properties,” noting that garlic may help support good health by:

• Blocking the formation of cancer-causing substances
• Halting the activation of cancer-causing substances
• Enhancing DNA repair
• Reducing cell proliferation
• Inducing cell death
• Providing antibacterial properties

Population studies have shown that increased intake of garlic may help reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast.

To get the most benefits, garlic should be eaten in fresh form and chopped or crushed first (this converts the beneficial phytonutrient alliin into allicin, its active form). For general health, the World Health Organization (WHO) also recommends adults get “a daily dose of 2 to 5 g of fresh garlic (approximately one clove), 0.4 to 1.2 g of dried garlic powder, 2 to 5 mg of garlic oil, 300 to 1,000 mg of garlic extract, or other formulations that are equal to 2 to 5 mg of allicin.”

Remember that for the best cancer-preventive benefits, your diet should include a wide range of fruits and veggies — from oranges and apples to artichokes and pea pods. The more natural variety your meals offer, the more nutrients — and the greater cancer protection — you and your family will receive.

Why Mc Currie Brand of Spices are a household name locally and internationally..?

McCurrie_secretsMc Currie brand of spices are produced at our Factory in Makumbura Pannipitiya under stringent quality measures.

We have throughout the years packed unadulterated and contamination free whole/ground and blended spices, including curry powders. Our range of products has extended, over the years, in to ready-to-eat jar products, which are favourites among our clientele and no doubt proves the quality of the products.

Our quality is ensured in processing the product using modern machinery under the eagle eyed supervision of trained food technologists. The reason for our increased clientele is the high quality and consistent standards maintained by our laboratory.

Our raw materials are purchased from the most reliable of sources.

Processing commences with the fumigation of raw materials. The materials are stored under the highest hygienic conditions, with regular quality checks.

Our Machinery used in the process have been carefully chosen and designed by world renowned machinery suppliers for the packing of whole, ground and blended spices and the filling of ready-to-eat bottled products. Our machinery is continually upgraded to meet the norms of modern technology.

Sophisticated cleaning and classifying machines are used, metal impurities are magnetically removed, followed by removal of dust and other impurities. The classifier removed any other dissimilar material to the product. The de-stoner very efficiently separates stones and other grit.

Ongoing quality checks are a daily necessity and are made to grade the products for packing as a whole spice or pass it on for roasting and grinding as necessary. Roasting enhances flavor and aroma. This is done under controlled conditions to ensure the traditional exotic flavours.

Special Grinders uses disintegrators designed to permit powdering of spices without metal to metal contact. Its high capacity chamber induces air and eliminates any heating of the product, preventing any deterioration of volatiles or essential oils. Thus the product retains pungency, flavor, taste and aroma.

Blending of spices and curry powders are done to suit consumer taste and specifications on a high efficiency line of machinery.

Our packing is of high class and we resort to stream-lined packing machinery and the very popular vacuum packing process.

For all of what we have said above to be put on the right track, we are proud of our employees who work with dedication and commitment to bring you, our customer, the Spice of Life that is Mc Currie.

How To Save Energy On Cooking

Unlike in the past, efficient cooking today consumes a lot of energy, which in turn costs a lot. I remember years ago, I saw many people cook food using clay pots over a fire which was very cost efficient, but more time consuming. Today people use microwaves, gas and electric stoves for cooking, which saves time but consumes a lot of energy.
There are many ways to reduce the consumption of energy during the process of cooking. We at Mc Currie are concerned about our customer’s energy consumption and as a result to show our concern are providing some uscooking gasuseful tips.

Appliance Choice and Proper Sizing
Choosing the Appliance and its proper size is important in conserving energy during cooking. Larger Appliances require more energy for cooking. Therefore, using large appliances to cook small portions of food would consume more energy than required.
Defrosts
When food is stored in the deep freezer for long periods of time, frost coasts on the food making it ice hard. To save energy consumption prior to cooking, defrost the food. If food is not defrosted prior to cooking, it will take a longer a time to cook, because the ice has to melt. Simple defrosting could be done by leaving the raw food out to thaw to room temperature, thereby making it eligible for cooking.
Airflow
Food cooks better when there is better air circulation. Therefore, when cooking in an, oven avoid laying foil on the racks. This is because foil would prevent the circulation of air in the oven. Instead place the food in pans when cooking .

For all your spice needs please visit the Mc Currie website.

Food Grade Plastic

What is it made from? Is it safer? are some of the questions on the minds of Mc Currie consumers about food grade plastic. Mc Currie is here to answer them for you.
In addition to the information given to you by Mc Currie, personal research on the topic is recommended.

What is food grade plastic that Mc Currie uses?
To answer this question we need to ask the question, what is plastic? Plastic is a plastic food packaging 1substance made from hydrocarbons that are a petroleum extract and combined into polymer chains. Food grade plastic is a more refined version of regular plastic.

Why is it safer to use food grade plastic like Mc Currie does?
Unlike regular plastic, Mc Currie uses food grade plastic that does not contain dyes which are known to be harmful. Many dyes are carcinogenic because they contain chemicals such as dioxin, chrome, copper zinc, and a suspected carcinogen known as formaldehyde. At Mc Curie we are concerned about the safety of our consumers. Therefore, by using food grade plastic packaging Mc Curie is making it safer for you and you’re Children.

How would you differentiate normal plastic food packaging from Mc Currie

food grade plastic packaging?
All Mc Curie plastic food packaging would contain the symbol Food Grade symbol shown on the right on the lower back right hand corner of the package.

United States classification of food grade plastic

The United States has several categories of food grade plastic. Some of them are listed as follows:
1. PET or PETE: A clear looking polymer that is a barrier for gas and moisture. This makes it Ideal for soft drinks.
2. HDPE: A polymer that has excellent protective barrier properties. It is used in the packaging of milk.
3. Vinyl: A clear see through polymer that is cling and puncture resistant. It is ideal for packaging of meat.
4. LDPE: Has clear and flexible properties. It is used in the production of flexible bottles.

For all your spice needs please visit the Mc Currie website.

How to save on LP Gas? Save Gas, Save Money

LP Gas is commonly used in cooking in many households. With the escalation in price of LP Gas, housewives are in a quandary as to how they could stretch their 13.5 kg gas for a month. One might say it is impossible, but with a little care, you could economize on gas. We give you a few tips on how you could save on gas usage.

1.      Thaw frozen food prior to cooking. The heat energy that would be needed to bring down the frozen food’s temperature to room temperature can be saved. Most housewives, do not thaw frozen food completely and leave it to the heat from the gas cooker to do the needful. This method is not only a waste of gas, but the curry you are preparing will not be tasty, due to the fact that the ingredients added will not absorb into the meat or vegetables properly.

2.      If water needs to be boiled for beverages several times a day, use a thermos flask instead.

3.      Refrain from using too much water when cooking, as excess water will mean excess usage of gas.

4.      Wipe all cooking utensils prior to placing them on the stove, as a minute or two of gas will be needed to disperse excess water around and underneath the cooking utensils.

5.      Whenever possible close cooking utensils with lids when cooking on the stove. This will definitely save a lot of energy and a substantial saving could be derived.

6.      Using a pressure cooker saves a lot of gas as cooking in it consumes less time.

7.      Prior to cooking, make ready all vegetables and meat. Have all ingredients at hand. This avoids wasting time once the flame is lit.

8.      Reduce the flame when boiling starts. This not only saves energy, but makes your food taste better.

9.      Although this tip may not find favour with Sri Lankan housewives, it is worth a try. Cook larger quantities and store for late consumption.

10.  It is best that lentils are soaked prior to cooking. Remember that a sizeable saving on gas could be derived.

11.  If you find the burner giving out an orange light along with the blue light, its time you cleaned your gas cooker. Yellow flames are an indication that incomplete burning is taking place.

12.  Use aluminium or stainless steel pans and not clay pots, as metals are good conductors of heat and clay is definitely not.

13.  Most gas cookers have a smaller burner and a large burner. It is advisable at all times possible to use the smaller burner and if you are using the larger burner, it is advisable to reduce the flame.

14. Plan your meal times – If all members of the family eat together, which signifies togetherness and brings joy, frequent preheating of food before serving can be avoided. If eating together is not possible, store cooked hot food in insulated containers to retain heat

15. Always check the regulator, pipes and burners for leaks and also make certain that the regulator is switched off after cooking. This bit of advice is twofold, in that just as much as you save on gas, you will avoid accidents as well.

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