In addition to firewood, rice, oil, salt, vinegar and tea, sauce is one of the seven items a restaurant has to deal with everyday. Sauce is not a co-star. Rather, it is the product of various flavors. There are all kinds of sauces, from ketchup and jam to curry and italian sauces. Many shop owners have their own secret recipes. Not only could sauces enhance the value of gourmet but they bond a group of people together with a common memory.
It is time and labor intensive to make sauces. The course of washing, cutting, cooking and stirring may lead to occupational injuries. When designing a central kitchen, we take many points into account. Besides labor saving, ways to reduce bacteria and avoid cross contamination are worth more our attention. Other points include the flow of staff, adequate space, controlled level of dust concentration and ease of cleaning of the facilities. It is bothersome to cool thick sauces.
The deterioration in quality leads to financial loss and food waste. How do we tackle these problems? Let us come to more details.
1. packing environment
Sunshine Energy advocates the function of a clean packing room. All shop owners wish to deliver delicious sauces to their customers but if sauces are contaminated at the final stage of production, not only all efforts are wasted but the brand could be jeopardized. A good packing room starts with selecting the partition materials that are easy to clean, such as stainless steel.
Second is to have a packing room in positive air pressure to exclude the contaminated air from outside. One uses a make-up air device and air conditioning to maintain a desired level of temperature and humidity, allowing a packing room as clean, as dry and as cool as a clean room. This enables an enhanced productivity and a prolonged shelf time. Finally is the flow of staff.
Staff is subject to hand disinfection before entering a processing area. A higher level of hygiene could be attained with air shower.
2. slow cooling
Most sauces are subject to stir frying. A homogenizing process also causes an increase in temperatures. Thick sauces contain a great amount of heat and it takes time to cool till the degrees appropriate for packaging. More often than not, the temperatures on the surface have met the target degrees and yet the center is still warm, which can lead to food spoilage.
We recommend you to use rapid cooling machines from Sunshine Energy. The machines can speed up the cooling process to 30 minutes. The shorter the cooling duration, the less the impact from oxidation and the better the aroma and color. Furthermore, a shortened cooling process helps to restrain the growth of bacteria and the reduced amount of bacteria leads to a prolonged shelf time without chemical preservatives. For sauces with a high percent of fat, such as ground meat and curry sauces, rapid cooling machines can help to attain a homogeneous structure, making each spoon a great taste.
3. unpleasant cooking area and extensive efforts with sauce making
Sauce is the product with various interwoven tastes. From stir frying to simmering, the process of sauce making is complicated and labor intensive. To tackle the problems, it is suggested to make use of automatic stir fry machines with direct fire as they help to preserve the aroma while mitigating the burden from the staff.
If heat and steam is not well managed, the cooking area can become hot and humid, which gives rise to discomfort and provides a condition favorable to the growth of bacteria. A well-designed exhaust hood and ventilation with high static pressure are important. A good air circulation system can take the heat away, make up fresh air and reduce the humidity and consequently the cooking area becomes a more pleasant place. In light of frequent washing and cleaning, a well-design drainage system and grease traps need to be in place.
4. raw material storage and ingredient pretreatment area
Fresh vegetables and meats are often the basic ingredients of sauces. With respect to storage, besides freezers and refrigerators in place, the control of temperature and humidity is also important. Clever Central Kitchen from Sunshine Energy uses the cloud-based alarm monitoring in freezers and refrigerators to ensure foods being kept at low temperature at all times.
When the temperature deviates from the norm, a notification will be sent to the smart phone to prevent the loss. Many sauce ingredients need to be diced or shredded, which is labor intensive. By working with various machinery vendors, Sunshine Energy advices clients about the right equipments based on types of ingredients they process.
5. avoiding cross contamination
Sunshine Energy focuses on separating flows and zones when planning a kitchen. As for flow solution, we consider staff, goods, air and bacteria.
From raw materials to final products, foods are passed from areas with lower hygienic demands to those with higher demands. On the contrary, staff, after being subject to air shower, moves from areas with higher hygienic demands to those with lower demands, such as pretreatment area or cooking area. The air needs to be filtered and be directed towards exhaust system. Different matters are subject to different flows. This tells how important to separate the flows. In former times, a central kitchen is a notion of large space with a focus on operational convenience and yet a mixed flow of staff and goods often led to cross contamination.
Sunshine Energy separates the zones into 1. raw materials 2. pretreatment area 3. cooking area 4. cooling area 5. packing area 6. final goods 7. washing area. With separated flows and one-way doors, cross contamination can be avoided.
Whether you are family kitchens or food manufacturers, whether you look for packing room planning or factory-wide planning, if you have questions relate to production process of sauces, you are welcome to contact Sunshine Energy.