Direct from Spain | Preserved Artichokes a nutritious alternative

Preserved Artichokes a nutritious alternative

Preserved Artichokes a nutritious alternative

24/May/2023 |

There is no doubt that fresh food is generally considered the healthiest option as it retains most of its nutrients and flavours. However, canned foods, including preserved artichokes, can still provide a convenient and nutritious alternative.

Preserving artichokes through canning involves a process of cleaning, trimming, and then packaging them in a can along with a preservation liquid. This process helps extend the shelf life of the artichokes and allows them to be consumed at a later time while maintaining their taste and texture.

They must be processed within a maximum of 48 hours of harvesting so that they do not lose their qualities. While some nutrients may be lost during the canning process, many essential nutrients can still be retained in preserved artichokes. Canned artichokes are a good source of fibre, vitamin C, folate, and minerals like potassium and magnesium. They also contain antioxidants, which have various health benefits.

The first process the vegetables go through is sizing. The factory works with artichokes with a diameter of between 40 and 65 millimetres. If the artichokes do not reach or exceed this size, they are discarded. Of every kilo of artichokes that a factory buys from farmers, only between 20 and 28% is used, so it is important that the waste is not excessive. This waste is given to farmers to use as food for the cattle.

The vegetables are then passed to the cooking machines. Depending on their size, the time varies, but all the artichokes spend between 10 and 15 minutes in a pre-cooker at 60º and a cooker that cooks them at 92º for around 18 minutes. They are then placed in a cold chamber, so that they can be handled comfortably. Once cooked, the artichokes are placed, always according to their size, in machines with blades that adapt to the size of each piece and proceed to peel them, but they are never completely peeled. Then, the workers select the artichokes by hand according to their qualities, peel them so that they are perfect, and fill the jars to fit a minimum size. This requires removing and inserting artichokes like a game of Tetris.

It's important to note that not all canned foods are equal in terms of their nutritional value. Some canned foods may contain added sugars, excessive sodium, or preservatives, which can reduce their overall healthiness. Therefore, it's advisable to read the labels and choose canned artichokes with minimal additives and low sodium content. The Tudela artichoke has the "Protected Geographical Indication" (PGI) certification, the highest level of European recognition within the Quality Product Denominations.

When incorporating preserved artichokes into your diet, consider rinsing them before consumption to reduce the sodium content further. They can be used in a variety of dishes, such as salads, pasta, dips, and side dishes, providing a convenient and tasty addition to your meals.

While fresh artichokes may be the optimal choice for nutrient content, preserved artichokes can still be a healthy part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation and as part of a diverse range of foods.

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