30 Dec Food industry: This is how cooked lentils are made
Pre- cooked lentils or canned lentils are one of the essential legumes in the diet of practically all cultures and societies in the world. The food industry has facilitated its consumption thanks to the canning sector, which has managed to maintain its demand by adapting its format to new times and consumer tastes, avoiding soaking hours and offering a product ready for consumption: open and serve.
To make this possible, manufacturers of pre-cooked lentils follow a rigorous production process that consists of six steps:
After these stages, the distribution phase begins in the national or export market, allowing a complete meal to be offered by just opening a glass jars.
The reception of dried lentils.
The first step in the process of producing pre-cooked beans is receiving the dried pulses. Their transport, unloading and storage are highly important. And even more so when you’re talking about producing organic lentils because it is necessary to avoid contact with conventional lentils.
The dry lentils are transferred from the storage warehouses to the hydration basins, where the dried lentils are introduced, which are completely covered with water to hydrate them. The time they remain in these tanks varies depending on the product for which they are to be used.
The lentils, already hydrated, are taken to the cooking area. This procedure is known as scalding. The lentils are cooked using a specific machine that provides the precise temperature for an optimal result. Then, pressurized water is applied to remove the possible presence of the skin of the legume and, later, they are shaken in a drum to eliminate the remains of water.
Pre-cooked lentils packaging.
The pre-cooked lentils are now ready to be packed in glass jars and cans of different weights and measures depending on the needs of each client. Thus, a machine dispenses the precise quantity in each jar. Afterwards, the jars are closed with their corresponding lid so that they are totally airtight and arrive at the washing area, where water is applied under pressure.
The jars of pre-cooked lentils, through conveyor belts, reach the sterilization area to be introduced into the autoclaves. Inside, a specific pressure and temperature is applied for a certain time to achieve the desired finish.
Already packed, the cooked lentil preserves circulate to the labeling and packaging area, where they are organized by trays, boxes and pallets to begin a journey that will end in kitchens in countries around the world.