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Dealing with product information

What product information can be found on this website

In this website we will discuss the information about products systematically. There are thousands of products that you can run into in the kitchen, divided over 15 topics . A systematic method also means to say that we will discuss all product groups in the same fashion. We will first give you information about the product group, vegetables for example. Then we will discuss the types of products such as root vegetables and fruit vegetables.
In this section of the web site we want to teach you how the information about products can be found in this book. We do this with an example of 2 product groups:

  • Eggs and egg products
  • Poultry

Information about food commoditie groups

We have divided all commodities into 15 groups. At the beginning of each chapter we will firstly describe the commodities. Then we mainly pay attention to the following points:

  1. The function of the products
  2. The nutritional value of the products
  3. Purchasing of the products
  4. The treatment of the products in the kitchen

When you look at the list with product groups you will notice that there is some difference between the product groups. The commodities milk and flavour enhancing materials are much different than the commodities meat and fish
For the description of we have made a distinction between main products groups and supporting product groups. Main product groups are product groups that mainly are used as a main part of a meal or a menu like meat, fish, poultry and vegetables.
Supporting product groups are product groups that are used in support of other products in meals or menus like oils, fats and milk products.
When describing the main product groups we will not always describe the same things as those of supporting products. The description of main product groups is mainly more extensive because:

  • More attention is paid at the quality characteristics en the purchasing of the products
  • Also attention is given to the different physical conditions these products can be purchased in

The function of the food commoditie

In the function of products the use of the products in the kitchen is mainly dealt with. The difference between the main products and the supporting products plays a key role here. When talking about the function of products you should think of:

  • The use of a product as a main component of a dish
  • The use of a product as a part of a dish or course

Eggs for example belong to the supporting product groups. In the professional kitchen they are mainly used as ingredients for the preparation. Eggs can be used in many different ways in the kitchen:

  • As garnishing in salads or cold dishes
  • As binding agent in soups, as glue when bread crumbing or shining agent for puff pastry.
  • As rising agent in profiteroles and for making bavaroises airy

But you can also use and egg for a dish like an omelette or fried eggs

Poultry is a product group that is mainly used as a main component in the kitchen.
But poultry doesn’t have to be used only as a main course:
You can also use it in:

  • Cold starters like salads or a pate
  • Warm starters such as quiche
  • Stocks and soups like chicken soup

The nutritional value of the food commoditie

When discussing the nutritional value of products we give information on:

  • A distinctive presence or absence of nutrients. Eggs contain fats, egg whites and vitamins. Poultry usually has a high concentration of animal egg white and is low in fat
  • The level of digestibility of products
  • The usability of products in the dietary kitchen

Purchasing food commodities

When talking about the purchasing of products 4 points of attention are put central

  1. the types of products
  2. the physical condition of the products
  3. the quality characteristics of the products
  4. the price level of the products
  1. The types of products

Here we are dealing with two differences; biological differences and differences in production methods.
When talking about biological differences it is about the differences in animal species such as beef- and pork meat
When talking about differences in production methods it is about the difference between green house lettuce and that of the cold ground.
Eggs could be produces by battery chickens or free range chickens. For domestic poultry we speak of a production method because they are held and it they do not live in the wild

  1. The physical condition of the products

When talking about the physical condition of products we mean the condition in which the products can be delivered in the kitchen.
In the kitchen we make a distinction between:

  1. Fresh products such as vegetables, bread or fish
  2. Pre treated product such as sliced vegetables or filleted fish
  3. Preserved products like prepared products such as vegetables in glass or deep frozen products such as pizzas and snacks.

Products can be purchased in more physical conditions. Spinach can be bought fresh or deep frozen for example.
Also domestic poultry can be purchased in two fashions:

  1. Fresh and chilled( whole animals, parts, organs or pre treated)
  2. Deep frozen( whole animals, parts, organs or pre treated)

Eggs can also be purchased in different conditions:

  1. Fresh
  2. In the form of egg products, so pre treated, pasteurised, egg powder or deep frozen
  1. Quality characteristics of the products

Many products are divided into grades. Every grade has different quality characteristics and a different price that goes with it.
Domestic poultry is divided into class A and class B
Eggs that are sold at the wholesaler always have grade A or “Extra”. The quality gradation B and C are only used in the food industry.

  1. The price level of the products

We will give general information about factors that influence the price such as scarcity, seasonability and the market influences.

The treatment of food commodities in the kitchen

The treatment of products in the kitchen exists generally of 5 phases:

  1. The transportation
  2. Receiving
  3. Storage
  4. The pre treatment
  5. The preparation

For each product group we give information for every phase of the way products can or have to be treated in the kitchen

  1. The transportation

Here you can find information on the way products have to be delivered to the kitchen. Domestic poultry has to be chilled at a maximum temperature of 4ºC on delivery for example. It also has to be fully covered or packaged. Eggs should be delivered unchilled

  1. Receiving

Here you can find information about the points of attention when checking delivered products.

  1. the quality, the freshness and other quality characteristics
  2. the number and the weight
  3. damagings or breakings
  4. the temperature
  1. Storage

Here you can find information about how and where the products can best be stored. When storing special attention should be paid to:

  1. the temperature
  2. the ventilation
  3. the amount of light
  4. the storage time

Eggs should be stored at a temperature between 7 and 13ºC. The storage time is a maximum of 6 weeks.
Fresh domestic poultry has to be stored in the fridge as quickly as possible at a temperature of -1 to +4ºC because of the chance of contamination.
We also give information about products that can and cannot be stored together. Raw and cooked poultry is not allowed to be stored together.

  1. The pre treatment

Here you can find information on the manor in which products are pre treated, packaged and stored before they are prepared to an end product.
In the book “Kitchen techniques” is described how the products should be pre treated. The pre treatment of products can consist of the following stages:

  1. the cleaning of products, like with domestic poultry the removal of the skin and the intestines
  2. the dividing of products, like portioning poultry into halves or breast and legs
  3. the pre treatment of products without heat, like marinating or bread crumbing poultry halves
  4. the pre treatment of product with the use of heat like blanching
  5. the defrosting of products, like taking poultry out of the freezer well in time

When necessary we will give special attention to certain pre treatments. For example the defrosting of deep frozen poultry. That product has to defrost in the fridge above a leaking tray. You always have to discard the dripping and the used materials should immediately be cleaned properly.

  1. preparation

Here we shall outline what preparation methods are possible. The treatment of products is explained by giving examples.

Product information

Within every product group we will describe the hundreds of products in a different manor.
Let’s take a chickens egg for example. With that description we mainly pay attention to the following points:

  1. Chicken egg / Oeuf de poule

Characteristics:         Smooth, light brown or white shell
Weight class:             0 through 7
Availability:               All year
Storage time:             About two week at a temperature of 7 - 13º C
Uses:                           Boiling, frying, poaching, steaming, as binding agent and to give dishes volume and air.

As a second example we take a boiling fowl:

Boiling fowl/Poule

Characteristics:         Suitable for making stock
                                   The meat is fairly fat and not tender
Species:                      Old hens of 1-2 years
Pan ready weight:    1-2 kg
Technical parts:        mostly 4 parts, 2 legs and two breast pieces
Edible organs:           Stomach, heart and liver

Appliance:                 Stock