Food-Preserves Industry

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Food-Preserves Industry


the branch of industry involved in the processing of perishable foods of animal and plant origin (fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, fish) into semifinished and ready-to-use products capable of prolonged storage in hermetic containers.

The food-preserves industry developed at the beginning of the 19th century. In Russia, the first processing plants were built in the second half of the 19th century in Taganrog, Rostov-on-Don, and Simferopol’. Russian scientists made a great contribution to the development of the scientific principles of food preserving. The high quality of the preserved foods made at some of the Russian factories was often noted at international exhibitions. However, on the whole, the level of development of the food-preserves industry in prerevolutionary Russia was low (116 mil-lion standard containers in 1913). The principal foods preserved were meat and some delicatessen fish and vegetable products.

Construction of new plants and the re-equipping of the old plants began in the USSR in the mid-1920’s. By 1940, the output of preserved foods had increased tenfold as compared with 1913, and preserved dairy-products industry had been created. The geographical distribution of the plants changed radically: in addition to the old regions (the southern Ukraine, Moldavia, Kuban’, and the Northern Caucasus), the industry began to develop in Byelorussia, the Central and Central-Chernozem regions, the Volga Region, Transcaucasia, Middle Asia, Siberia, and the Far East. Large food-preserves plants were built in the cities of Krymsk (Krasnodar Krai), Kherson, and Tiraspol’ during the prewar years. Specialized vegetable-growing and fruit-and-vegetable sovkhozes were organized to provide the industry with an uninterrupted supply of raw materials. These, together with the kholkhozes, formed a stable and reliable raw-materials base for the food-preserves industry. Many of the plants were destroyed in the territory occupied by the German fascists during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, but by 1950 they had been reopened on a new technological basis. Since the early 1960’s, the USSR has been second only to the USA in the volume of preserved foods produced, and its output is rapidly increasing (see Table 1).

Table 1. Production of preserved foods in the USSR
(millions of standard containers)
 TotalFruit and VegetableMeat and Meat-VegetableFishDairy
1940 ................1,112.8757.7108.1120.370.4
1950 ................1,534.6934.5291.1200.281.5
1960 ................4,864.32,995.4667.8726.0465.8
1970 ................10,676.27,332.1816.81,391.31,103.7
1971 ................11,301.87,656.0971.21,500.31,150.7

Significant progress has been made in the variety of preserved foods produced. The production of preserved green peas (213 million standard containers in 1971) and natural juices has increased. Children’s food, dietetic foods, juices and pulp, and semifinished and ready-to-use dinners are produced for public-catering enterprises. The production of preserved fruit and vegetable, meat, dairy, and fish items is becoming increasingly concentrated in large plants, and the production of mass-market items is being mechanized.

Of the other socialist countries, the largest producers of preserved foods are Hungary (about 1 billion standard containers of various preserves in 1970), Bulgaria, and Rumania. Hungary and Bulgaria are also major exporters. Among the capitalist countries, the USA produces the greatest volume of preserved foods (37.5 billion standard containers in 1970). Significant amounts are also produced in Great Britain (4.5 billion standard containers in 1971), Italy (2.4 billion in 1970), the Federal Republic of Germany (6.2 billion in 1971), and France (4.2 billion in 1970).


Pishchevaia promyshlennost’ SSSR. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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