Ready-to-use vegetables are quickly packaged after they are harvested so that they are well preserved. These conservation processes include blanching, canning, flash freezing, pre-cutting or preparing, or dehydration.
This process involves treating vegetables that are then stored in a jar or can. The name comes from Nicolas Appert, the inventor of the process in which food is sterilized using heat.
This process consists of either boiling or steaming the vegetables for a short time (30 seconds to 2 minutes) before cooking. Blanching is used to help the vegetables retain their color. It also helps stop the action of enzymes responsible for the causing vegetables to deteriorate during storage.
Canning is the safest way to keep vegetables for as long as possible. Canned vegetables are microbiologically stable for several years until they are opened. There are canned vegetables that are still intact after 70 years!
This process involves having vegetables pass through tunnels between -30°C and -40°C to freeze them. The goal is for the core of the vegetables to reach -18°C as quickly as possible then to keep the vegetables at that temperature until they are eaten. This technique preserves vitamins better than simple freezing which is slower and damages the body of the vegetables when large ice crystals form.
This process lets you reduce or eliminate most of the water contained in vegetables, generally through evaporation or sublimation. It reduces the volume of the vegetable and yields a product that is easy to use, even when you don’t have access to a kitchen.
Products that have been pre-cut, sliced, peeled, etc.
These vegetables have been washed, peeled, dried, and cut before being packaged in a changed environment, for example with a different proportion of gases in the container to adapt to the respiration of the vegetables. These products are ready-to-use and stay fresh longer in the refrigerator. Mostly, this applies to salad greens and raw vegetables. Once the package has been opened, it is best to eat the product quickly.
Products that have been sterilized, pasteurized, etc.
These are vegetables that have been peeled, cooked (sterilized or pasteurized) and vacuum-packed. Sterilized products can be kept at room temperature for several months, whereas pasteurized products are kept refrigerated. These products are ready-to-use and simply need to be reheated. Once opened, it is best to eat the vegetable quickly.