New packaging extends the shelf life of meat

How does vacuum packaging extend shelf life?

The storage time of vegetables is limited depending on storage and processing conditions.
Vegetables begin to deteriorate due to exposure to bacteria and microorganisms found on the surface of the vegetables and in the surrounding air. In the freezer, during long-term storage, the top layer of food freezes, depriving vegetables of nutrients and their usual taste. Peeled and chopped vegetables have a significantly shorter shelf life due to the removal of the peel, which protects them from external influences.

The use of vacuum packaging allows you to increase shelf life due to:

  • removing air from the bag, which prevents bacteria from multiplying;
  • hermetically sealed, which does not allow the penetration of other bacteria from the surrounding air;
  • preserving the natural moisture of products, allowing them to maintain an appetizing appearance and taste.

Cleared business

Sanzhar Bokaev is perhaps the most successful example of the transition from words to deeds, or from theory to practice. In the past, he was an official in serious positions, a social activist, a party member and even a scientist. Today - a manufacturer. Sanjar is the owner of two companies - a kitchen production company in Almaty and a designer furniture production company in Nur-Sultan . In an interview with a correspondent, the young entrepreneur spoke about the underside of Kazakh business, how easy it was for him to reorient himself professionally, and who is putting a spoke in the wheels of domestic furniture manufacturers today.

Sanjar, if you google it, it’s so easy to be filled with headlines like “From politics to businessmen” or “How a former official got into furniture”... Doesn’t your bureaucratic past get in the way? Or maybe, on the contrary, it even attracts customers?

Having worked for the state, I gained a wealth of experience, which, if it doesn’t help me today, then certainly doesn’t hinder me. Like many, I constantly insisted that Kazakhstan does not produce anything. However, one fine day the idea arose in my head that I needed to start with myself. If I don’t produce, if you don’t produce, if we all don’t produce, why be offended by the state? And so began my journey into another world – light industry. And then, I sincerely believe that managers in the public administration system must have production experience and work in business. Otherwise, how can they write working government programs if they haven’t been in production for a day, so to speak, haven’t smelled the gunpowder of a living economy?

Your company profile states that production was founded in 2005. Let's talk about your start? It turns out that you combined business and politics, working in national companies? How did you decide to get involved in entrepreneurship?

I started by opening a workshop in the capital. This was the start of the company. Not everything worked out right away. There were problems with premises, equipment, and finding specialists. However, we were so charged with the idea of ​​​​creating production that all these problems were solved quickly. Six months later, we mastered unique technologies, and after another six months, we became unique suppliers of furniture for brand hotels, boutiques and many others. Believing in ourselves, we went “to Almaty”. At that time, the company had been showing losses for two years and was on the verge of bankruptcy. I decided to buy it back. We revised the strategy, built business processes, carried out optimization, and introduced kaizen. And they made it profitable. Although the quarantine, of course, forced us to adjust our plans.

Today you have two production facilities, in Almaty and Nur-Sultan. How large-scale are these projects, how many people work? What do you produce? How often do you update and expand your assortment?

It can hardly be said that these are large-scale projects. Today, these two companies employ 87 people. Capital production is focused on sophisticated designer furniture, while Almaty production is focused on cabinet furniture. We are constantly updating our line, since customer tastes are constantly changing and we need to keep up with the times.

Let's discuss your successes in business. To be convincing - based on numbers. How much did you invest in both productions? What did you spend it on? How quickly did you get your investment back, if you already got it back?

When we talk about persuasiveness, it is more a matter of perception. For some, my investments will seem serious, for others - a mere trifle. I can only say that there is not a single five-star hotel in the capital that does not have a beautiful coffee table from our company. And in the city of Almaty, production has become a leader in the number of custom-made kitchen furniture produced.

Surely you have no problems with marketing. I have seen you more than once in the posts of our celebrities, whose houses and apartments are furnished by your companies. Does this mean that your prices are not affordable for everyone, despite the fact that, it must be admitted, the quality of your products is impressive?

Most likely, this is not due to marketing and advertising, but to the uniqueness of the product. The niche was completely free. Previously, such designer furniture could only be bought for very decent money and at the same time you could wait at least three months. And with the advent of such production, many demanding clients have the opportunity to implement the most daring design solutions.

And yet, how is it possible to maintain prices for products where the quality is not inferior to Italy, for example?

I can’t say that the designer furniture we produce is presented on the market at a very low price. It is only two times cheaper in comparison with Italian analogues, but in reality it still remains inaccessible for the average Kazakh citizen with an income of the average monthly salary. The most interesting thing is that the world is becoming so globalized and erasing borders that we recently received an order for bedside tables not from anywhere, but from Italy itself. The goods were sent to Milan. Apparently, designers are testing different deliveries for price, quality and timing. Two months have already passed, but the cargo has still not been delivered. And this, it would seem, is a story that exposes the transport and logistics problem of our country. It seems that this does not directly affect us much, but in terms of timing, as an important indicator, this makes us uncompetitive.

We, journalists, have long been accustomed, unfortunately, to the dissatisfaction of participants in the furniture market. Absolutely justified dissatisfaction, of course. They talk about problems with raw materials, shortage of components, quality of fittings, dependence on the dollar due to the need to purchase abroad, high competition with the same foreign furniture. And even the status of OTP - a domestic commodity producer - does not help. How do you resolve all these issues? Is it true that domestic producers do not receive any support today?

The furniture industry has many problems of its own. As you correctly noted, first of all, this is the lack of high-quality materials and accessories produced here in Kazakhstan. 80% of materials used in furniture production are imported from other countries. This directly affects the cost of products and creates high sensitivity to devaluations. There is also a problem with trading houses. Landlords, such as Tulpar in Nur-Sultan, impose such draconian rental conditions that many have to work only to pay the rent, and then completely fall into debt bondage and close down. However, in my opinion, at present the biggest obstacle to the development of the furniture industry remains the policy of unfair competition, which, please note, is not carried out by the state, but by the industry association. NCE Atameken objectively cannot cover everyone and therefore tries to coordinate entrepreneurs through industry associations. Some of them, frankly, take advantage of vested powers, create a monopoly and unfair competition. This is precisely about the Association of Furniture and Woodworking Industry, whose leadership, through its companies, participates in all major tenders and does not give others the opportunity to obtain an industrial certificate to participate in government procurement. A tense situation has arisen in the furniture industry due to their monopoly. Now furniture companies are writing letters to the NPP, the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and other bodies regarding the activities of the industry association.

Interesting, we'll keep an eye on this story. Let's stop in quarantine, Sanjar. How has your business survived the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic? How do you assess the overall situation with SMEs today? What do you think about government support measures for business?

Quarantine, in addition to hitting SMEs, also “straightened their brains”, forcing every entrepreneur to look differently at their business and the situation as a whole. We've reviewed a lot. While we were sitting in our homes, we created WhatsApp groups with the participation of designers and constructors and tried to create a new product remotely. Realizing that after quarantine, purchasing power will decrease, we came up with a new product. I'll tell you about this a little later, when everything is ready. (Smiles.)

Sanjar, what other industries or business niches would you be interested in? Where else do you plan to realize yourself? Or in the near future we will only observe your development in the furniture sector?

Next summer season I plan to implement a project in the tourism industry. I want to open a recreation area in the Almaty region. I hope everything works out. There are other business plans. However, I don’t want to forget that I am a political scientist by training, Phd. Therefore, I will try to participate in political science research too.

Good luck to you, thanks for the conversation!

Madina Erik

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Shelf life of vegetables in vacuum packaging

Even the use of vacuum packaging limits the shelf life of vegetables. The shelf life of vegetables in a vacuum depends on the storage temperature.

  1. Cold storage. At temperatures of 3°C and below, vegetables are stored on average for up to 5 days, in vacuum packaging - up to 18-20 days.
  2. Storing in the freezer can significantly increase the shelf life of vegetables. At temperatures from -18°C, vegetables are stored on average for 8-10 months, when using vacuum packaging - up to 2 years.

Even the presence of vacuum packaging can reduce the shelf life of vegetables if they were peeled before packaging or chopped and cut.

Also, the shelf life in a vacuum can depend on the type of vegetable: hard vegetables with thick skins, such as potatoes and beets, will last much longer than more delicate cauliflower, celery or tomatoes.

Is it possible to leave it in the cellar and what is the best way?

Carrots used to be stored in cellars before the advent of refrigerators. However, there were no plastic bags back then. Today, many craftsmen store carrots in large bags in their basements, of course observing certain rules, because the cellar is quite humid, and this threatens the storage of carrots.

We suggest you read: Preparing hot peppers for the winter

Of course, in large cities, storage in a cellar is almost impossible, so this storage method is for those lucky ones who have a cellar or underground at their disposal.

Tips for increasing the shelf life of vegetables

In order to extend the shelf life of vegetables in a vacuum, it is recommended to wash and dry them before packing.

If some vegetables are used infrequently, it is better to pack them in small batches, each of which will be enough for one use. With this packaging, there will be no need to open the bag to take 2-3 vegetables, and then repack the remaining products or think about where they can be used before they spoil.

Vacuum packaging helps preserve the taste, color and shape of vegetables for a long time, which will be appreciated by both housewives and professional chefs.

Meet the orange beauty

Carrot (lat. Daucus carota subsp. sativus) is a biennial plant, a subspecies of the wild carrot species. Usually in everyday life when we use the word “carrot” we mean carrots. They love it for its large, fleshy, juicy, orange root vegetable.

Today everyone knows that carrots are a healthy vegetable, a real storehouse of vitamins and nutrients necessary for humans. Carrots are used both for cooking dishes and juices, all kinds of face masks and much more. Women from all over the world exchange recipes containing carrots.

Vitamin A, which is contained in carrots in quantity, is important for eye health. Carrots have a positive effect on the immune system, help with diabetes, normalize metabolism in the body, promote the elimination of waste and toxins, improve heart function, fight anemia and prevent the formation of tumors.

We invite you to familiarize yourself with: Description of the Kuum tomato variety and characteristics – Country Affairs

Carrots were first mentioned around 2 thousand years BC. The homeland of the main varieties of root crops is Afghanistan and the Mediterranean coast. Previously, carrots were grown not for food, but for their fragrant leaves and seeds. Currently, about 60 species of this useful plant are known, distributed throughout the world, from Europe and America to New Zealand and Australia.

How to store in plastic bags in the underground?

How to properly store in bags?

In vacuum

  1. Wash the carrots from the soil and set aside the cracked and other defective specimens.
  2. Place in vacuum bags and remove air.

With this method, carrots will not be stored for long - several weeks, since they are alive and need to breathe. If carrots are chopped and heat-treated, they will be preserved much better in vacuum bags.

In cellophane

  • To wash or not to wash harvested carrots?
    It is better not to wash the carrots, as a thin protective layer of soil remains on the surface of the washed carrots, which will help the root crop to stay fresh longer.

  • Tops.
    Some varieties have weak tops and you can easily break them with your hands. If you have a variety with powerful, bushy tops, they should be trimmed carefully with a knife. In both the first and second cases, try not to touch the root crop itself. It is advisable not to break off, but rather to twist the tops, leaving the tip.
  • Drying.
    Our orange root vegetables need drying. It needs to be done for several hours before packing. Choose a place in the shade of trees in the fresh air, preferably in windy weather. In this case, 1-2 days before storing carrots, they should be cooled to a temperature of about 0°C.
  • We are preparing storage space.
    Your cellar must meet the following conditions - it must be dry and the temperature must be maintained at 4... 12 degrees and a humidity of 90-95%. A warmer room is not suitable for storage: moisture will evaporate from the carrots, and the root vegetables will wrinkle and wither. Read this article about how to store carrots in a warm cellar.

    IMPORTANT! The temperature in the room should not fluctuate greatly. If necessary, you can pre-disinfect the storage and boxes with lime or copper sulfate.

  • Sorting of root crops.
    We reject carrots with any flaws. Spoiled carrots can be used when pickling cabbage.
  • Place in a container for storage.
    You can choose any bag size - a regular food packaging bag, a 10 kg sugar bag, or large plastic bags of 30-35 kg (more information on how to store carrots in sugar bags can be found here). The main thing is that the bag should not be tied, otherwise the planned loss of vegetables instead of 3-5% will be 100% within 15 days. An open bag retains the required moisture.

We suggest you read: What diseases can pigeons carry?

Carrots release carbon dioxide during storage. A little of it accumulates in open bags, and it prevents the development of diseases. However, in tied bags its concentration will be high and the carrots will spoil.

With beets

  1. Sort through the carrots and beets.
  2. Wash and dry.
  3. Place half a bag of carrots and half of beets.
  4. Place the packages close to each other without tying them.
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