Blanching is – The most important thing about agricultural products such as vegetables and fruit is their freshness, because it is the main basis for considering the quality level of these foodstuffs. However, usually these products are very susceptible to damage. The damage experienced is generally caused by enzymes and microorganisms that can affect the taste, color and freshness of the product itself.
In the culinary world itself, there are various cooking techniques that can be used to maximize the function of these ingredients. To be able to maintain the taste, color and freshness of the product, there is a technique called blanching or blanching. Has Sinaumed’s ever heard of this word?
To be able to find out more about blanching or blanching techniques that you can use at home as your cooking technique, then you can see this review until it’s finished, Sinaumed’s.
Definition of Blanching
Blanching is a cooking technique by boiling vegetables or fruit in boiling water in a short time. In addition, blanching is often used in the process of preparing foodstuffs (vegetables or fruit) which will be further processed into other foods. Blanching can be applied in the process of storing vegetables at home or in industry.
In storage at home, it will usually be boiled using water and salt or it could be with broth, so that the vegetables have a savory taste. Meanwhile, at the industrial level, this technique is usually applied using a conveyor belt after the vegetables have gone through a pre-heating process by immersing them in hot water with a temperature of 70-100 degrees Celsius. Water is heated and cooled using a heat exchanger and recirculated for continuous use, this process can keep production costs down.
Food ingredients to be blanched will generally be put in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. After that, the blanched vegetables or fruit are removed and dipped in ice water (also known as shocking or refreshing ). This needs to be done to stop the further cooking process.
With the application of this technique, it can stop the enzymatic activity that can make vegetables rot, even though they have been frozen. In addition, this process will result in the color of green vegetables remaining green after processing.
In addition, blanched vegetables are vegetables that are usually served cold. In general, blanching is done for vegetables and fruits that will undergo canning, drying or freezing processes.
There are 3 methods of blanching itself, here below is a complete explanation of the 3 methods.
1. Blanching with Hot Water (Hot Water Blanching)
This method is almost the same as the regular boiling process. Although this method is quite efficient, it has drawbacks. The drawback of this blanching method is that we will lose food components that dissolve easily in water and materials that are not heat resistant.
Usually, the temperature will be around 70-100 degrees Celsius. The equipment used is also quite easy, namely only a lid and a large pot. This method is said to be the cheapest method.
2. Blanching with Hot Water Steam (Steam Blanching)
Blanching with this method is often used. With this method, it will further reduce the components of food ingredients that are easily soluble in water or food ingredients that cannot stand heat such as vitamins, proteins, minerals, and others.
In addition, this method is recommended for several types of vegetables such as broccoli, squash, potatoes and winter squash. The time required in this method is also 1.5 times longer than using the water blanching method .
3. Hot Gas Blanching
In this technique using chimney gas from burning gas in a heating medium which is used to heat food, resulting in a blanching process. By using the gas blanching method , it will reduce the waste generated later.
However, this technique often results in reduced product weight. Usually, in industry, the most frequently used blanching methods are steam and water blanching techniques .
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It feels incomplete if you don’t discuss the purpose of blanching. The purpose of blanching is as follows:
- To get good quality vegetables and fruits to be dried, canned or frozen.
- To reduce the activity of enzymes that can cause changes in taste, flavor, color, texture and nutritional value.
- To remove the gas that is in between cells.
- Due to degassing, it will reduce the discoloration due to oxidation, and obtain a vacuum condition in the headspace when canned.
- To fix the texture
- To lower the initial microbial count
- To simplify the filling process in canning due to softening of the texture
- To remove unwanted odors and flavors
- To remove mucus on some types of vegetables
- To improve the color of products such as strengthening the green color of green vegetables.
The ability of the blanching process to obtain a good product is based on several functions as follows:
1. Inactivating Enzymes
This enzyme can cause changes in the quality of food ingredients, especially fresh food ingredients that are easily damaged due to high enzyme activity. Several oxidative enzymes that become inactive in the blanching process are peroxidase, catalase, polyphenol oxidase, lipoxygenase, and others.
One example of the blanching technique is the process of making apple cider with the aim of inactivating the polyphenolase enzyme. This polyphenolase enzyme can catalyze the oxidation reaction of phenolic compounds resulting in the formation of the desired brown color because it spoils the appearance of the product and is not liked by consumers.
2. Reducing Gas between Cells
The reduction in intercellular gas results in a decrease in oxygen levels in the material, which will result in a decrease in the activity of oxidative enzymes whose activity is affected by the oxygen content in the material.
3. Reducing Activity and Even Killing Microorganisms
The next function of blanching is to reduce or kill microorganisms. However, this technique can cause negative effects in the form of loss of heat-sensitive nutrients. Sensitive nutrients will dissolve in the blanching process which is carried out by the boiling method.
Has Sinaumed’s ever heard of this term? The term 5-30-7 actually has the same meaning as blanching . In this case, the number 5-20-7 is calculated in minutes and is usually used to process or cook meat. Then, what is the term for those minutes? Here’s the full explanation.
- Prepare a pot filled with water. Then, simmer until it is completely boiling.
- Place the beef in the pot containing the boiling water and cook the beef for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, turn off the stove then cover the pot and leave the meat for about 30 minutes in the pot.
- After that, boil the meat again for 7 minutes.
Blanching Process Time
Each food ingredient has a different blanching time process for enzyme inactivation. This depends on the type of material, the blanching method used, the size of the material and the temperature of the heating medium used. If the immersion is too short it is called ( under blanching ) this makes the vegetables rot quickly, if the immersion is too long, it can be said ( over blanching ). This can make vegetables lose their taste, color, vitamins, minerals to texture.
So that you don’t go wrong in blanching , the length of time used for several types of food will be explained below.
- Broccoli with 2-3 minutes
- Corn with time 2-3 minutes
- Spinach with 12 minutes
- Small beets, whole in 3-5 minutes
- Beet is diced within 3 minutes
- 2 minutes for small asparagus, 3 minutes for medium size and 4 minutes for large size.
- Chickpeas within 3 minutes
- Cauliflower in 3 minutes
- Celery in 3 minutes
- Leafy green vegetables in 3 minutes
- Okra within 3 minutes
- Gambas within 3 minutes
- Turnips within 3 minutes
- Mushrooms and corn in no less than 9 minutes
- Cabbage with time 1.5 minutes.
- Onion with time 10-15 seconds
- Potatoes with time 3-5 minutes
- Half chili with 3 minutes, chopped chili with 2 minutes.
The length of time needed to carry out the blanching process must be just right, that is, not too deep and not too short. This is because the excessive blanching process can cause the product to overcook and lose the flavor and nutrients in the food.
As for food products from the results of blanching, for example, such as:
- Canned food
- UHT products
- Pasteurized milk
- Fruit juice, fruit juice
- Jelly drink yogurt
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Influence on Food Quality During the Blanching Process
When the blanching process is carried out, it can have an impact on the quality of food, including:
Directly or indirectly, the blanching process will affect the taste of various food products by inactivating the enzymes in these foods. This process often improves taste retention and can often remove unwanted bitterness in foods.
Blanching itself can cause softening of unwanted food products. Even so, this can be overcome by adding calcium to these foods. The use of a combination of low temperatures on raw materials proved to be quite effective in the friming process of canned vegetables. Then, the structure of food ingredients can also be assessed by measuring their crispness, crunchiness and instrument measurements such as maximum shear force.
The color change that occurs in the blanching technique can occur directly or indirectly. For example, when processing potatoes which in this processing process, there will be a change in the color of the potatoes. The change usually occurs because of the Maillard reaction.
4. Nutritional Value
Blanching will reduce the nutritional value of food, especially when using hot water. Some of the nutrients that may be lost during processing include vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, carotene and several other minerals.
Stage of Performing Blanching
There are several steps that you have to do when you want to do the blanching technique in cooking, including:
1. Material Preparation
Wash vegetables using running water. While washing, heat water in a saucepan until cooked.
2. Blanching Process
Place the clean vegetables in a pot of boiling water. The recommended temperature is around 75-95 degrees Celsius with a duration of 1-10 minutes, depending on the type of vegetable.
3. Keep Temperature
When all the vegetables have entered the pot, then close the pot and start counting the blanching duration . In addition, keep the temperature stable according to the specified time.
Prepare ice cubes first in a bowl of water. Then you drain the vegetables and put them in a container or basin filled with ice water or run them over with cold running water.
This is so that the food ingredients can cool immediately and also do not experience the cooking process from the remaining heat after boiling. Usually, this process is carried out with the same duration as the blanching process .
Dry the cooled vegetables, and make sure there is no water left in the vegetables because the remaining water can affect the quality of vegetables stored in the refrigerator.
Pack the vegetables in a container and put them in the freezer , so that the vegetables get the ideal temperature.
Tips for Good Blanching
There are several tips that you need to pay attention to when you want to use the blanching technique , including:
- Don’t skip the part of soaking vegetables in ice water, this process can be said to be important in preserving food in the blanching method .
- To make it easier to peel fruit like tomatoes, make an X-shaped cut using a knife before placing the fruit in boiling water.
- Blanching can also be done by steaming or using a microwave
- Blanching can be done to make broth so that the result is not rancid or fishy. The trick, can be done by putting meat or bones into boiling water, then remove the foam and dirt from the first boil.
Function of Blanching in Meat
Not only vegetables, if you want to prepare dishes from meat ingredients so that they become more tender and produce a delicious broth that also doesn’t smell fishy, then you can use the blanching technique . So, here is the function of the blanching technique for meat.
1. Cleans Broth and Makes Food Appear Cleaner
If you want your cooking to have a clean and clear broth, then you can first blanching the meat or bones before making the stock and seasoning it.
You can start this method by boiling the meat or bones, stirring occasionally until the water boils for 10 seconds. After that, you turn off the heat and the surface of the cooking water will form foam.
If this foam is left, it can make your cooking cloudy. Therefore, you should be able to throw away the cooking water and rinse the meat with clean running water. In addition to the broth being clean, this will affect the appearance of your dishes and they will look smooth and clean.
2. Eliminate the Sharp Aroma of Meat and Offal
Blanching can be used to remove the unpleasant aroma produced from meat or offal such as intestines, lungs and others. After the smell of meat is reduced, your cooking will taste more delicious and won’t take away your appetite.
How to blanching meat or offal you can boil in plain water or water seasoned with herbs or spices.
3. Tighten the Texture of the Offal or Soften it
Some parts of the meat have a soft texture like the innards in general, such as the brain and lungs. If the innards are directly processed, then you will definitely have trouble. However, if you do the blanching technique , the texture of the innards will harden and be easier to process.
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Well, in Sinaumed’s, he explained about blanching as well as tips and how to apply the blanching technique. If you want your cooking results to be better, you can try these tips and blanching techniques, so you can do this technique at home regularly. Hopefully all the discussion in this article is useful for Sinaumed’s. So, are you going to try this cooking blanching technique at home?
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Author: Christin Devina