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Canned food makers underscore reliable ingredients

Canned food manufacturers are favoring certified contents and upgrading facilities to address health concerns.

Suppliers of canned food in China are prioritizing safety in their products. To this end, many makers are sourcing ingredients from reliable providers.

Canned whole tomatoes
Suqian’s canned whole tomatoes come in 425 and 800g sizes.

Several companies, for instance, are purchasing meat that has been examined and certified by the Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision, although these cost 10 to 20 percent more than untested equivalents.

Suppliers are likewise eliminating food contaminants with the use of advanced machines.

Some midsize and large operations, for example, have invested in liquid and gas chromatographs for removing fertilizer and pesticides left on the surfaces of fruit and vegetables. The procurement and installation of these units require a budget of $30,000.

A number of well-established companies, meanwhile, are augmenting their facilities with x-ray refractometers for detecting stone, metal and glass mixed with food. Others boast mechanized sorting equipment that take out crushed and rotten items.

Suppliers are also double-checking containers to make sure these are empty before filling them with food.

Sanitation in factories is being improved as well. At most plants, employees' shoes are disinfected before entering to inhibit the spread of harmful bacteria. Equipment for cleansing casters and cart wheels are likewise present.

Screens are installed on windows, preventing flies and other insects from coming in.

Further, companies are assigning personnel to keep the workshops clean regularly.

The local government is also taking steps to assist suppliers in enhancing product quality.

In Sept. 13 to 17, 2010, China's Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine organized a seminar on food safety management in Shandong province in cooperation with the US' FDA.

The five-day training was aimed at helping enterprises meet the standards of the latter agency, the approval of which is required for canned goods being exported to the US.

The Inspection and Quarantine Bureau of Jieyang city in Guangdong province, meanwhile, has hired experts to teach local farmers the proper way of applying pesticides to minimize residue. This is geared at enabling suppliers in the area to penetrate the US, EU and Japan markets.

Canned food selection
Canned food processing
Product gallery

Canned water chestnuts
These canned water chestnuts from Shenzhen Haohui have a shelf life of two to three years.
Canned food selection

China suppliers offer a variety of canned food, including vegetables, fruit, fish and poultry. Of these, the first two types dominate exports in the line.

Bamboo shoots are the most common vegetable option. Carrots, garlic, asparagus, potatoes, radishes, spinach, burdock, cauliflowers, sweet potatoes and cabbages are likewise available.

For the fruit category, peaches, pears, pineapples, tomatoes and mandarin oranges are the best-sellers. The selection also includes cherries, cucumber, apricots, apples, grapefruits, lychees, oranges, raisins, blueberries, strawberries, longans, loquats, mangoes and plums.

Mushrooms comprise another popular alternative.

Most canned food from China meets FDA and HACCP standards. Some even comply with BRC, kosher and GMP requirements.

Product quality is often determined by the ripeness and freshness of the contents.

Suppliers of canned peaches, for instance, prefer fruit harvested between 80 and 90 percent of its full-maturity. The reason is that such variants are sweeter, juicier and boast a longer shelf life than under- and overripe equivalents. Moreover, they are firm enough to withstand damage during transport.

Companies offering canned corn, on the other hand, adopt young maize for better flavor and texture. A ton of the grain, however, is 10 to 15 percent more expensive than more developed counterparts.

In general, overripe variants cost 30 to 50 percent lower per ton. These, however, have inferior taste and can spoil easily.

To preserve freshness, fruit needs to be processed within 24 hours after harvest. Vegetables, on the other hand, require two to six hours. To do this, many businesses have set up factories near plantations.

Additionally, some suppliers are helping farmers improve the quality of their crops by hiring experts to impart knowledge on proper and cost-effective methods of cultivation.

Canned pineapple chunks
These canned pineapple chunks from Guangdong Harvest come in light syrup with 14 to 17 degrees Brix.
Canned food processing

The manufacture of canned fruit and vegetables involve several procedures, which typically include filtering, washing, cutting, cooking, sterilizing and packaging.

The first is the process of segregating food according to size, color and ripeness. The grouped items are then utilized in products at different price segments.

Premium canned peaches, for instance, contain four to six big slices of high-quality fruit. Less expensive goods have seven or eight smaller pieces.

Washing is employed to remove dirt and pesticide residue. Companies often put items under running water and use high-pressure sprayers afterward. Some enterprises also utilize 0.1 percent potassium permanganate and 0.1 to 0.5 percent hydrochloric acid solutions for optimal cleansing.

As regards cutting, popular techniques are slicing, shredding and dicing. Potatoes, peas, oranges and pears require peeling beforehand, while apples, peaches and mangoes necessitate coring to take out the seeds.

Cooking and sterilizing are often conducted simultaneously via steaming. Apart from making food soft and suitable for packaging, the procedures eliminate harmful microorganisms.

To ensure safety further, contents are transferred into warm canisters to be resterilized.

Vegetables and fruit are normally packed with salty and sweet syrup, respectively, to enhance flavor. These are placed in airtight containers to maintain freshness.

Metal and glass are the most common packaging options for canned food from China. Many suppliers favor tin for the former type as it is lightweight, durable and can be easily molded into different shapes. Further, the material transmits heat quickly, allowing for shorter sterilization time.

Tin cans, however, are not resistant to rust and may contain chemicals that can come into contact with food. Its high cost is another disadvantage. As of November 19, 2010, rolled variants were between $860 and $1,800 per ton.

Rates for glass, on the other hand, are 50 percent lower. The material also does not contain harmful substances that can spoil contents. On the downside, such packaging is heavy, brittle and has poor thermal conductivity.

Product gallery

Guangdong Harvest Canned Foods Co. Ltd

Model: 425GR/24
MOQ: 1,000 cases
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Pineapple; eight slices;
425g net, 263g drained weight; 10 to 12, 14 to 17 degrees Brix; 18mo shelf life; kosher, HACCP

Pineapple chunks

Guangdong Harvest Canned Foods Co. Ltd

Model: 602RH
MOQ: 20 tons
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Pineapple chunks; 106oz; 18 to 21 degrees Brix; 18mo shelf life; tin can packaging

Pineapple chunks

Shenzhen Haohui Exp. & Imp. Co. Ltd

Model: HH0102
MOQ: 200 cartons
Delivery: 7 days
Description: Pineapple chunks; 2 to 3yr shelf life; tin or glass packaging; six cans per carton; 2.95kg gross weight; kosher, HACCP

Water chestnuts

Shenzhen Haohui Exp. & Imp. Co. Ltd

Model: HH0219
MOQ: 200 cartons
Delivery: 7 days
Description: Water chestnuts; 2 to 3yr shelf life; tin or glass packaging; six cans per carton; 2.95kg gross weight; HACCP

Bamboo shoots

Shenzhen Haohui Exp. & Imp. Co. Ltd

Model: D287
MOQ: 200 cartons
Delivery: 7 days
Price: $50
Description: Bamboo shoots; 2 to 3yr shelf life; tin or glass packaging; six cans per carton; 2.95kg gross weight; HACCP

Whole tomatoes

Suqian Cannery & Food Corp. Ltd

Model: Canned Tomato
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Whole tomatoes; 425, 800g sizes; tin can packaging


Suqian Cannery & Food Corp. Ltd

Model: Canned Soup
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Soup; 25% whitebait, 10% yam, 2% green beans; 300, 400, 500, 850g sizes; tin can packaging

Canned Peach

Suqian Cannery & Food Corp. Ltd

Model: Canned Peach
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Peaches; 425, 850, 3,000g sizes; glass packaging

Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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