Reasons Affecting the Development of World Cuisine-III-Mechanization

world Kitchen

The canned food industry has been an important step for the development of the kitchen consisting of industrial products. Mechanization process of the canned food industry; The mechanization of food production can be viewed as the mechanization of the food preparation process (cleaning, peeling, sorting etc.) and the canning process.

The first process seen in the mechanization of food production was in biscuit production.

As it is known, in the context of colonialism, the British biscuit industry develops first, thanks to overseas trade and durable foods. These products initially helped sailors, merchants, and colonial officers throughout their voyages. The process, which started with tin boxes made to keep biscuits fresh, steam power applications developed to mix dough, roll, cut and continuously put material into the burning oven, resulted in the development of a secondary industry that helped ignite the industrial revolution; In 1859, brands such as Carrs, Huntley, Palmers and Peek Freans sold approximately 3 million products (Goody, 2013:204).

Changing eating habits before breakfast and at dinner led to a large increase in consumption, by 1870 this figure reached 16 million a year, Huntley and Palmers managed to enter the forty most important companies in England. Industrial production first became a part of daily food consumption by affecting the domestic market of England and then the local market abroad (Goody, 2013:205).

The process that started with the consumption of biscuits on long sea voyages became the starting point of industrial cuisine by the end of the 18th century. The stages of canned food production constitute the second important step in the industrial kitchen.

The food preparation process, namely cleaning, peeling, sorting, etc. When we look at the mechanization of canning and canning, the invention of canning, which the British call "bottling", is based on ancient tools and practices called "ingestion", a kind of pressure cooker invented by Denis Papin in London in 1681. Multi-purpose glass jars have a long history. At the end of the 17th century, there were glass companies in London that produced close to 3 million bottles a year; Most of these bottles were used for wine and medicine. When the chemist Joseph Priestly discovered how to make artificial mineral water in the 18th century, both a new industry was born and the bottling industry gained momentum. However, the use of glass bottles for canned food was realized by Appert's discoveries.

The canning method, which is based on modern industry, was developed by Nicolas Appert to solve the problems that arose during the Napoleonic wars. During the war, overseas shipments of food to France stopped, prompting the search for new substitutes for these foods. Appert is a cook and works on new methods at his workplace near Paris. In 1804, he established his own bottling factory after doing some tests on the product he invented in Brest. Appert continued to develop its products; started to use cans in addition to glass jars (Goody, 2013:205).

According to Bitting, with the discovery of canning, “no invention has contributed so much to modern food consumption or to the welfare of humanity in general” (Bitting, 1920 cited in Goody, 2013:206).

The use of canned bottles spread to America, and William Underwood, who worked in pickles and canned goods in London, went to New Orleans in 1817. In 1820, he established a fruit bottling factory with C. Mitchell in Boston, in 1821 this factory started to sell products to South America. Plum, quince, raisins and blueberries are the first canned fruits. Pickles, ketchup, sauces, jellies and jams constituted most of the work. In America, domestic trade improved as sales shifted from glass to cheaper metal containers and the Civil War increased sales, and once again the military's demands became paramount. However, the reason for production has now shifted to society. Underwood opened his canning factory in Boston, on the other hand, Thomas Kensett, an English immigrant, established a salmon, oyster and lobster canning factory, patented Kensett cans in 1825, but cans began to become widespread in 1839.

Many pioneering factories in America started with fish as the main product. In Europe, sardines have been canned since the early 1820s. By 1836, Joseph Colin had begun to produce 100 boxes, and this industry had spread all along the British coast. In 1880, 50 million canned sardines were packaged annually on the west coast of France, of which 3 million were exported to England. Industrial food production has now started (Goody, 2013:208).

When the first canned food production started in 1830, a worker could make 50 or 60 cans a day. Tin cans are made from wrought iron sheets; the covers were connected by placing a metal sheet on top, pressing down on the sides with a hammer, and then soldering on the top. Of course, the first tin cans were very heavy and could only be opened with a hammer and chisel, and by the second half of the 19th century these problems were overcome; In 1849, machines were developed that flatten the top and bottom of the box. In 1876, cans began to be placed on an automatic strip to stamp cans, now two people could make 1500 cans a day (Goody, 2013:215).

The other dominant product of the canned food industry was concentrated milk. In England, Grimwade patented condensed milk in 1847 and began supplying milk on overseas voyages. In 1855, the patent for milk powder, which regained its structure by adding water, was also obtained. The greatest improvement in milk processing has been achieved by Borden's studies in the Americas. The method he found and applied for a patent to sell dried meat and meat biscuits to meet the needs of immigrants is also Nestle It also started to be used in the British-Swiss joint company, which will be known as Concentrated milk has become one of the most important foodstuffs in the UK. In 1924, 100 thousand tons of products were exported, this figure was more than the sum of canned fruit, meat and fish (Goody, 2013: 209).

The process of canning food has been an important step in the development of the industrial product kitchen, but there are other methods used to preserve nutrients. One of them is the artificial freezing process. The method of preserving nutrients with natural ice has continued to be used until very recently. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russians packed their chickens with snow when needed, so they brought frozen beef from Archangel to St. They were sent to St. Petersburg. In Scotland, there were ice shops in the homes of the rich. This practice spread to the food trade, and in the 19th century, thanks to the ice shops in every fisherman, the salmon were packed in boxes in broken ice and sent to London (Quoted by Bitting, Goody,2013:210).

Thanks to the cheaper transportation costs with the developing railway transportation, cheap and nutritious food has become available to large masses (citing from Cutting, Goody, 2013: 211).

Technological developments have affected not only the foodstuffs but also the methods used in the kitchen. In-house refrigeration technologies are still a century away from development, but this type of machine began to be used in the catering trade in the second half of the 19th century. Thanks to the developments in ice cream techniques, sandwiches have started to be sold out of season. The commercial catering business went along with the decline of domestic service workers; In 1851, 905 thousand women worked as domestic servants in England. In addition, 18 thousand women served in the field. By 1961, the total number of female servants in England and Wales was 103 thousand (Goody, 2013:215).

Machines such as washers, sorters, peelers, cutters, mowing and freezing machines have been developed in the preparation processes of food from the steps of mechanization. Once again, the supplier industry was born to meet new requirements.

Technological developments in processed and packaged food production are mostly in the form of adapting simple mechanical mechanisms that produce standard products for large-scale production. The situation was the same not only in biscuit production but also in pasta production. In fact, this typical Italian dish, which came from China and entered Europe through Germany, was adopted in the 14th century and carried to the Atlantic countries by Italian immigrants (Goody, 2013:216).

As can be seen, the increase in the population, the change in production and consumption habits has changed the whole layout of the kitchen and accelerated the development of the industrial kitchen. Today, there are many people who live at home without making any food. There are no longer only packaged ready-to-cook products on the supermarket shelves, there are also foods that are cooked daily and all processes are completed in the industrial kitchen, or there are foods that can always be ordered and accessed thanks to the proliferation of transport-logistics companies.

In this context, the home kitchen of those who live in the city and spend all day working at work has been taken over by the industrial kitchen. Our dominance over the foods we eat has ended, and alienation from the foods we eat has begun.

Which oil, which spices or which salt is in the food bought or ordered from the home market?

What is in the concentrated milk or formula we give to our children?

Fraud and adulteration in foodstuffs has been going on since the first production of industrial food. Cheating in food has become a dominant social problem.

The process that starts with alienation from what we eat ends with alienation from ourselves.

Source: 

  • Goody, J., (2013). Food, Kitchen, Class. Istanbul:Detail Publications

About the Author

Didem Samurkas

I am a Computer Engineer, I am married, I first completed my master's degree in Sociology in order to find answers to my questions why we live social life like this, how our relations with each other are formed, and now I am continuing my Sociology doctoral program. I am doing my thesis on food and agriculture.

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