mixtures for the quick preparation of cooked dishes, consisting of dried plant (vegetable, fruit, and cereal) and animal (meat, dairy, and fish) products to which fats, sugar, condiments, and spices have been added. There are food concentrates for first courses (vegetable, bean, and milk soups), second courses (porridges, noodle dishes, dishes made with groats and cheese, vegetable and meat stews, omelets), and third courses (kisseli [kind of blancmange], gelatins, crèmes, and mousses), as well as special concentrates for infants made with cereal broths.
In preparing concentrates, the groats, legumes, vegetables, and other products undergo heat processing (boiling to a pulp, blanching, steaming), and they are partially flattened to ensure rapid cooking before being eaten. Modern technological methods have facilitated the production of concentrates from groats that require no cooking but acquire normal consistency (for example, porridges) after boiling water is poured over them and they are allowed to stand for several minutes. For dehydrating some food products used in concentrates, the most progressive method of sublimation drying is used. In order to increase the nutritional value of dinner concentrates and improve their flavor, protein products obtained by hydrolysis from plant and animal raw materials are added.
All food concentrates are manufactured in the form of briquettes or granules. Briquettes, usually weighing from 50 to 200 g, are wrapped in moisture-resistant materials (vegetable parchment, cellophane) and an outer paper cover. Granular concentrates are packaged in paper bags coated with polyethylene or other film materials. Also classified as food concentrates are dry breakfasts (mainly from cereals), oat and corn flakes, corn sticks, puffed rice, popcorn, fried potatoes, crackers, dry sauces, and cake mixes. Food concentrates may be stored at temperatures no higher than 20°C, with a relative humidity not exceeding 75 percent. The storage life of various food concentrates is three to 12 months.
Food concentrates have certain advantages over other products. They are very light, have a high caloric value, are convenient for storage and transportation, and may be used both in homes, and restaurants and on expeditions and marches.
A. F. NAMESTNIKOV