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Innovation for a Japanese pot noodle

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Innovation for a Japanese pot noodle

In Canterbury, Wattie's is the final stages of harvesting and processing one of its last crops of the season, all 11,000 tonnes of it - carrots that is.

While the orange vegetable is used widely by Wattie's in its frozen vegetables and soup ranges, none may be as innovative as the carrot supplied to a Japanese customer for its pot noddle product.

Export Manager Donald Park explains that to win this customer's business Wattie's had to be sure its carrot flakes would float to the top of the pot noddle in three minutes or less, while still maintaining the colour and texture of carrot.

"We use two technologies to achieve this without compromising the quality, taste or goodness of the carrot. This customer's carrots are part of the 20% of the crop which is dehydrated for export as ingredients in other food product.

"We take the carrot destined for pot noddle product through a special drying process that ensures the carrot floats, and through this innovation we have won a very valued customer."

Overall, Wattie's is having an easier time with its carrots this season, except for when snow and then wet weather recently caused the suspension of harvesting and processing for a week. South Island Agricultural Manager Mark Daniels says that even considering the latest weather event last season's harvest was more difficult because of constant rain and wet paddocks.

"These crops were planted back in October and November, with harvesting and processing starting in April and going through to early September.

"This crop is harvested within an average of 45kms of the Hornby plant, and unlike peas and beans, the growers themselves are responsible for harvest. The carrots are "crowned" and lifted in the paddock so that the Hornby plant receives only the bright orange root vegetable. The fluffy green leaves and crown of the carrot stay in the paddock as valuable sheep feed or are cultivated back as nutrient replacement."

The variety of carrot most commonly used by Wattie's is called "Carsen", a processing carrot with a strong orange colour. Approximately 80% of the crop is washed, diced - mainly Julienne style - blanched and frozen, and the balance is now dehydrated.

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