A very ancient saltworks was discovered near an archaeological site next to a salt spring in Neamt County in Rumania. Evidence indicates that Neolithic people were boiling salt-laden spring water to extract salt as far back as 6050 BC. Salt was widely used for other purposes than seasoning food and this could be one of the reasons that created a human settlement pattern around salt pans.
Apart from needing to preserve meat in brine, salt played a big part in religious rituals such as:
- Salt was included amongst funeral offerings in ancient Egyptian tombs also in the form of salted birds and fish
- It was used in ancient Celtic Exorcism Rites
- In Judaism, it is customary to dip bread in salt when passing bread around the table after Kiddush
- In Wicca, it is believed to cleanse and area of harmful or negative energies
- It is considered to be very lucky in Hinduism and is used in religious ceremonies such as weddings
- In the native Japanese religion Shinto, salt is used for the purification of locations and people. In Sumo wrestling, small piles of salt or salt flowers are placed in dishes at the entrance to the halls to both ward of evil spirits and to attract patrons
However there are also many practical uses for salt:
- Coarse salt is brilliant for cleaning coffee and tea stains out of mugs.
- In the garden I have found that coarse salt prevents snails from eating your plants. Also if spread between the bricks/tiles on your patio or path it will keep these areas weed free.
- And then there is sprinkling salt on the spilt red wine!!
Salt can be used with other ingredients such as vinegar for a wide variety of cleaning needs. If you have ever had these problems while cooking onions:
- Chopping onions – rub smelly hands with salt softened with vinegar
- While cooking the onions they burn – a mixture of cinnamon and salt on the hot plate will clear the air of the burnt odour
- If burning the onions so badly that a fire is started then don’t use water to put out the flames – use salt
- To clean the burnt pot use salt to clean.
Did you know about the Ghost Chili Pepper (Bhut Jolokia)? I hadn’t until last week. Here I was eating lashings of Jalapeno on my pizzas with a glass of milk at hand. Since I was told about this Ghost Chili, and now looking at the Scoville Chili heat chart, I see that Jalapeno is for the faint-hearted amongst us with the Ghost Chili along with the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Chili being 400 x times stronger than Tabasco…. Doing a bit of research I discovered some interesting uses for chili apart from giving a dynamic taste to your cooking. It is said to:
- Relieve back pain and migraines
- Helps with digestion problems
- Lower blood pressure
- Helps with flu symptoms
- Nasal spray for sinus – really!!!
- The real hot chili can be used in hand grenades as a non-lethal way to flush out the criminals from their hideouts
BUT my all-time favourite is, if you have problems with wild Elephants invading your garden, just smear Ghost Chili on your fence. They will be quick to move to your neighbours’ garden never to return.
As manufacturers and packers of food products, how do you ensure that food safety of your products once they leave your factory?
Tamper-evidence is perhaps most visible in the process of product packaging and labelling, as it assures the consumer that the product has not been tampered with, prior to opening/use.
Methods of tamper evidence vary from:
- Pressure sensitive or heat induction liners on the rim of the container under the closer. Once removed, it will indicate that the content could possibly have been tampered with, as the liner is not re-sealable.
- Shrink sleeves that cover the closure to the shoulder of the jar or possibly a full seal which can double up as a branding label.
- Closures/spice grinders such as the ones in the pictures below that have a thread which locks on to the jar which makes it non-removable. It also has a ring-pull tamper seal that needs to be torn off to enable the contents of the jar to be used.
Traceability, while not visible, is vital not only to the consumer but to the supplier or store owner. Everyone in the food packaging industry is very aware of the problems that can arise from a lack of accurate and comprehensive traceability due to the effectiveness and speed of information shared in the case of a possible recall.
Did you know?
In our manufacturing process, each grinder is run through a camera inspection line to ensure conformance and, once passed, is printed with a code (as per the example below) to ensure traceability right back to the source of the raw material?
As an introduction, we would like to let you know what you can look forward to. We plan to share with you interesting articles on packaging, recycling of materials, history of salts and spices and surprise you with some fascinating “did you knows”. We will also provide technical information, news about our new innovations and marketing tips, all gathered from our collective vast experience in the food packaging trade. We will be happy to answer any questions that you might have and, if we can’t help, we will refer you to someone that can.
RECYCLING is always in the forefront of everyone’s mind when it comes to packaging. Here are a few interesting ways that recycled PET bottles are used:
- In 2010, a famous brand of sportswear introduced the use of recycled PET into environmentally friendly jerseys for the soccer teams of Brazil, Portugal and Netherlands and their fans. In doing so over 12 million plastic bottles were diverted from the landfill.
- Surfers around the world are wearing board shorts made with a material using 100% recycled PET. Each pair of board shorts is comprised of approximately 10 bottles.
- For your beloved dog or cat – recycled plastic bottles are used to make comfortable beds to lie in and toys to chase around and rip apart.
- 5 PET bottles are used to make up the fill for one ski jacket.
- An innovative idea for planting in small gardens.
If you have any good recycling ideas, please let us know so that we can share them.