Monthly Archives

December 2015

Hydrocooled potatoes

By | Growers, Customers | No Comments

Hydrocooling – the act of immersing freshly harvested fruit and vegetables into chilled water. A process that has for a long time, been very popular in Australia and USA is now growing in prominence in the United Kingdom and Rush Group is one of the first fresh produce companies within the British Isles to take advantage of this modern technology and apply it to potatoes.

This effective method of cooling produce, which helps delay the unavoidable decaying process, has for a long time been used on root vegetables such as carrots, is now being used by Rush in regards to its potato crop.

The potatoes are washed in extremely cold water – around 2°C, thus keeping the tuber very cold and so lengthening the life of the potato, and as long as they are kept cold they can maintain in this state for up to eight weeks. Whilst there are of course other methods for prolonging the life of potatoes, hydrocooling has the benefit of

  •  Cooling potatoes rapidly (about 15 times faster than air).
  • No water is removed from the produce
  • Can be applied to all types and varieties of potatoes
  • Washing the potatoes

This last point is particularly popular with Rush Group’s customers as they like washed potatoes, because they look presentable and also it saves them money on washing the potatoes themselves.

Rush is currently progressing trade in hydrocooled potatoes around the world, and their customers understand that while these potatoes maybe more expensive, they are worth the extra cost as there is less waste and it is more convenient to pack.

Rush’s hydrocooled potatoes are currently available, so if you are looking for a top quality washed potato, contact James Bulford today.

 

British-grown sweet potatoes

By | Corporate | No Comments

There has been a lot of excitement recently with the news that sweet potatoes are now being grown in Britain – particularly regarding the thought that this will cut down on the vegetable’s carbon footprint.

Here at Rush we are very conscious of food miles, carbon footprint and are proud supporters of British grown food, but we can’t help but feel that the way this story has been reported is a little over-simplistic.

Whilst we agree that not having to import sweet potatoes from America will obviously decrease the vegetables carbon footprint when it comes to transport, fresh produce’s CO2 emissions don’t come solely from this stage of the cycle. It is highly likely that these sweet potatoes will be grown in heated polythene tunnels, using special mulch – both of which emit a large amount of carbon dioxide.

It’s only a guess, but we suspect that the yield per acre for British sweet potatoes is going to be far less than their American cousins, where the average is 15-20 tonne an acre. This lower yield translates again into a proportionally higher carbon dioxide emission per acre for the British grown varieties.

So whilst we are very excited about locally grown sweet potatoes and support everyone involved, we believe that it will take another five to ten years, with significant agronomy and technical advances, before we can truly grow a sweet potato with less of a carbon footprint than those imported from USA, Honduras,  Spain, Portugal, Egypt and Israel.

Rush thinks it would be great if Britain grew their own sweet potatoes, but to do that would require someone producing breeds and varieties that can actually grow naturally in the local climate. That is probably a long way off – and by the way, if it isn’t we would love to hear from you.