Benefit from our profound expertise in the import of vegetables and fruits.
Here you will find many terminology, technical terms and specifications of our industry explained.
- AllergenWhat kind of allergens are there?
You can find all this information in our allergen overview (PDF).
- BendingShaping and joining technique: it refers to the rectangular bending of the edges of round or oval metal sheets with a bending machine. As far as we know, the history of bending began at the beginning of the 20th century with the bending of the first tin cans. Bending is used to join metal sheets, different thin plates or tubes – by welding, folding, riveting, adhesive bonding or soldering. In many cases, the bending is only used to reinforce the material.
- Best before date (BBD)Far too many food is thrown away. One of the reasons for the dumping is a misunderstanding concerning an indication on food items – the statutory best before date (BBD) or date of minimum durability. Almost the half of the foodstuff discarded due to an expired BBD ends up in the bin unopened. Although this is not necessary – a close look, a smelling, a cautious try are mostly enough to find out whether the food is still edible. The BBD is a quality date not a throw-away date. It has been prescribed by law since 1981 in Germany as aid to orientation for consumers. The correct storage of the products as well as the appropriate transport, for instance from grocery to home, are essential for the durability of food. When properly stored, the products can be eaten or drunk past their BBD in the vast majority of cases. When a food item has reached or exceeded the BBD, the customers can judge themselves if it is still edible. It is recommendable to throw away food showing clear changes in color, texture, smell or taste. Having passed the BBD is the reason for six percent of the discarded food, one third of it are dairy products. As soon as the package is open, the food is exposed to oxygen, moisture and microorganisms. Thus, it faster loses its freshness and durability. Nevertheless, you should always check out whether the food is still edible. On some food items, it is indicated how long they are edible after opening the package. The EU Food Information Regulation lays down how the BBD must be indicated. According to it, the wording “best before…” is mandatory when the date includes the day. The formulation “Best before end” is used for a date without day. The best before date is an indispensable orientation for purchasing or storing processed and packed food products.
- BrixThe BRIX (content) can be read about time and time again in association with tomato products. Not everyone is familiar with what this quality feature means though.
The Brix value is given in degrees Brix (° Bx) and is a unit of measurement of the relative density of liquids. It indicates how much dissolved sugar is in a liquid solution and is determined with a refractometer. In the food sector, the refractometer is mainly used in wine, fruit, vegetable and beverage industry in quality control for measuring the sugar content. The hand-held instruments used enable fast, simple and reliable measurement. For example, 25° Bx means that there are 25 g of sugar in 100 g of a solution. A fresh sun-ripened tomato from the field usually has a natural Brix content between 4.8 - 5.0° Bx.
The higher the Brix content, the better is the product for the cook. He saves on boiling down the tomatoes for his sauce or no longer needs to add tomato paste to obtain a creamy end product. Every amateur chef knows that when fresh tomatoes are pureed or chopped and simmered over medium heat, water evaporates and, after a while, we get a creamy tomato sauce. The longer you boil down, the higher the Brix content becomes.
In PMM's whole, peeled tomatoes (2650 ml can), a thickened juice (tomato puree with approx. 7.5 Brix) is also added during production. Both together, the natural sweetness of the tomato and that of the puree, result in the final product of about 6 - 6.5 ° Bx. This Brix level is wonderful to work with in the professional kitchen. Speaking of tomato paste, 3-times concentrated, this PMM product has a very high content of 36 - 38 ° Bx. Here, it is necessary to pay special attention to quality and balance in the production, so that the taste of fruitiness and sweetness is not lost at such a high concentration.
- Buyer’s marketThe so called “buyer’s market” is characterized by falling prices. The reason for this market situation is a surplus in goods resulting from a supply increase amid constant demand. Accordingly, the term buyer’s market is also used in case of a demand deficit. This market situation is the result of decreasing demand and a steady level of supply.
- COUNTThe indication of a count or caliber is not mandatory in food law. However, for better orientation, but also from a commercial point of view, it is part of good manners, in order to avoid any misunderstanding when purchasing.
So: The caliber for olives, for example, is a measure of how many whole olives come to a certain weight.
Important: The count always refers to 100 grams of raw material before processing.
This should be known, because after processing and, if necessary, coring, the weight and size of the olives change.
In the trade, the weight is extrapolated on a kilogram basis, i.e. multiplied by a factor of 10.
In any case, the lower the count, the larger and higher quality the olives. Paul M. Müller, for example, trades in ADRIA canned goods with a count of 26/29 as a short designation. This means that there are approximately 260 to 290 olives per kilogram of raw material. In the ADRIA jar, for example, we offer a count of 28/32, which means that there are approximately 280 to 320 olives per kilogram of raw material. Our popular top product ADRIA-Queens comes to a count of about 100 to 110 large, flavorful olives.
For whole artichoke hearts, the number of pieces is given in counts. However, the count is calculated differently for artichokes. Important: The larger the count, the smaller the artichoke hearts. That is, a count of 30/40 indicates a number of pieces of about 30 to 40 hearts in the can. ADRIA canned artichoke hearts are available in small cans (425 ml) with counts of 5/7 or 8/12 up to a high count of 25/30, 30/40 to 50/60 for large cans (2650 ml). Small hearts are correspondingly more expensive.
The count is different again with our snails. Here the count is declared in dozens. This means that in the 850 ml ADRIA can (30 oz), for example, we have around 12 dozen, i.e. 144 snails in the can.
- Can CodeExperts can identify the producer with one glance at the can code. Formerly, the code was stamped in. Nowadays, it is imprinted by inkjet printer and can vary. In Southern Italy, for example, each producer has his own code for the factory, e. g. ANB1 = Eurocom. Behind it, is a letter or a number for the year of production, followed by three numbers such as 223 which indicate the day 223 of the calendar year. Above that, it is increasingly common to combine it with the time of day to see the exact production date. Modern factories can even imprint the intern batch number of the importer. This way, the traceability of the product according to IFS Broker is guaranteed. Furthermore, the best-before date is mostly also imprinted on the can lid.
- Can SizesHow big are the cans in which our Adria products are freshly packaged?
You can find all this information in our Overview of Can Sizes (PDF).
- Capers calibresThe global demand for capers is approx. 18,000 tonnes. This year about 15% (1,200t) less was harvested in Central Asia (Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan) and just 1/3 of the regular season in Iran. Resulting in approx. 2,000t less being available in these territories and the shortage being most serious with the large calibres. The large sorts are also lacking in Morocco and Syria. About 20% or approx. 3,500 t less in total is expected to be available from the current harvest.
On the other hand, there is still leftover stock from the 2017 harvest, which will probably balance out the quantities.
The closed caper buds are picked by hand in spring and are inedible raw. They are tumbled for a day first and then preserved in brine and vinegar.
This is how the capric acid and glucosinolates develop that give the capers their sharp, tangy flavour. Capers should be closed, olive to blueish green and as small as possible.
Capers are divided into different classes depending on their size in France:
„Nonpareilles“ (4–7 Millimeter)
„Surfines“ (7–8 Millimeter)
„Capucines“ (8–9 Millimeter)
„Capotes“ (9–10 Millimeter)
„Fines“ (12–13 Millimeter)
„Hors calibres“ (13–15 Millimeter)
- Drained weightDrained weight is a frequently used expression in the area of foodstuff production / trading. This expression is defined in the ubiquitous Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.
If a solid foodstuff is contained within a protective liquid, the drained weight also has to be stated. In foodstuffs in jars, the coating material is not included in the stated net weight of the foodstuff.
The following products count as protective liquids, mixed if necessary and also frozen or deep-frozen, in as far as they only play a subordinate role compared to the relevant preparation’s essential components and are not crucial for sales purposes: Water, aqueous saline solutions, brine, edible acids in aqueous solutions; vinegar, aqueous sugar solution, aqueous solutions from other sweetening agents or sweeteners, fruit or vegetable water for fruit and vegetables. (EU regulation 1169/2011 Appendix IX Figure 5)
Protective liquids serve to add flavor, preserve and/or prevent foodstuffs from drying out, among other things.
The total net quantity (net weight) as well as the drained weight must be visible on the product label (according to foodstuff legislation).
Edible oils do not count as protective liquids, meaning that the oil counts as part of the total net quantity for a product in oil. However, the drained weight is also voluntarily given for some foodstuffs as well as the net weight. This is especially true for cans of “tuna in oil”.
Particular attention needs to be paid to the drained weight in the area of wholesale / retail trade as the basic price for items, the disclosure of which is mandatory, refers to this and not to the total net quantity. (PAngV [German Price Indication Ordinance] Art. 2 Para. 3)
- Entry certificatesEntrepreneurs have been obligated since 1 January 2014 to have an entry certificate for every goods export within the EU (so-called intra-Community supply) and to archive this. Recently, the tax offices are placing more and more importance on this and having entry certificates handed out during company audits.
Only if an entry certificate exists with the following components is VAT-exempt billing in the other European country justified and recognised by the tax offices. However, there is not a standard formal regulation for this. You now have the choice of issuing your own entry certificate for every sale or alternatively a collective certificate for sales up to a quarter.
- Fishing AreasThe Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) divided the oceans in 19 fishing areas. These areas have a number and a name that specifies the area. If possible, the limits follow the boundaries determined in international fisheries agreements or by fishing organizations. The FAO fishing areas are the base for a global classification of the origin of fish products. The fishing areas are subdivided in ecological regions. The fishing area 71 (Pacific, Western Central), for example, includes the eco-regions Indonesian Sea, North, North Eastern and Eastern Central Australia as well as Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea and the South China Sea. Skipjack tuna comes from these regions. Regular controls and the inspection of the catch landed as well as the spawning stocks in these areas are supposed to help protecting the species.
An overview of our fishing areas can be found here (PDF).
- Fishing methods tunaFor the type of tuna which is predominantly sold by our company and in the whole of Continental Europe, ‘Skipjack’, the main fishing method used is:
Pole and line fishing
As the name suggests, the fish are caught individually using a fishing rod after fish bait has been released from bait boats. The benefit of this method is obvious: there is no “by-catch”. Fish caught in this way is, however, very restricted in terms of quantity and is also correspondingly expensive.
Purse seiner fishing
This is the most popular fishing method at the moment in which fish aggregating devices / FADs are used to attract fish. However, FADs are being increasingly avoided for this fishing method (this is then known as FAD-FREE ware). Paul M. Müller is a member of the “Earth Island Institute” (EII) which has implemented an international monitoring program originally against the use of drift nets. This should prevent so-called by-catch (originally dolphins).
Marine Stewardship Council
This organization was founded in 1997 due to severe overfishing in the oceans. Its primary goal is to protect worldwide fish stocks. Protecting the entire ecosystem (the food chain, other types of fish and birds and by-catch) also takes center stage. Fisheries throughout the world are monitored and certified for this reason. Supply is very limited and correspondingly expensive. Additionally, all companies involved in the trade have to be MSC certified.
- Harvest calendarWhen do artichokes, olives and tomatoes mature in which countries? Or when and where are the best peaches available? You can find all this information in our harvest calendar (PDF).
- MaisMaize (lat. Zea Mays) - the usually golden yellow grain (there are also some dark red varieties) from the field is food for humans and animals at the same time. Maize belongs to the sweet grass family (lat. Poaceae) and is one of the most important staple foods worldwide. Originally, the crop was native to Central America.
Many maize varieties have a high starch content and are used as a fodder crop. Increasingly, however, maize is also being used as a renewable raw material for the production of biogas, biofuel or even bio (plastic)materials.
The special thing about sweet corn (also called vegetable corn), on the other hand, is that the sugar stored in the kernels is only slowly converted into starch during ripening. This explains the pleasantly sweet taste of the maize kernels. It is precisely this taste that we love in the kitchen.
There is a great variety of maize types and varieties, which can be classified according to their grain type. This results in different uses: For example, ground maize is used to make dough and bread, soft maize is used to make tortillas and hard maize is used in the form of maize starch flour for cooking and baking. Moviegoers and idlers enjoy puffed maize in the form of popcorn. And sweet corn is used, for example, as grilled corn on the cob.
- Packaging lawThere is already quite a bit to note in 2018. The new packaging law is replacing the Packaging Ordinance from 1 January 2019. This doesn’t just demand considerably higher recycling quotas but a new single national authority is also going to be established. It is then mandatory for anyone launching a product onto the market, such as manufacturers, retailers or even importers, to be registered with the newly created national authority. These registered initial distributors are published on the Internet. As a result, both private and commercial customers can see whether suppliers or competitors are meeting their legal obligations and participating in a dual system. It goes without saying that registration has to be completed in 2018 to be able to launch packaged goods onto the German market from 1 January 2019. All distributors have to register their quantities with the national authority. The declaration of completeness for 2018 has to already be submitted to the national authority where the dual systems also have to report the quantities. The check will be significantly simplified with this merging of data.
- PepperNot all peppers are the same, only the origin is always the same: a climbing plant ("piper nigrum") whose original home is in southwestern India, but which is now also cultivated in Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil. Under ideal conditions - a warm tropical climate, high humidity and nutrient-rich soil - the pepper plant can climb up to ten meters into the treetops and be harvested twice a year. The harvest is usually carried out during the dry climatic periods of each country. Since mechanical harvesting could damage the berries, which grow in panicles, they are normally picked by hand, making the process laborious and expensive. A healthy plant yields an average of four kilos per harvest. In recent decades, world production of pepper has risen to over 280,000 tons per year. Whether the pepper tastes hot, fruity, sourish, sweetish or aromatic depends on the growing region, but above all on the time of harvest and on further processing. Unripe peppercorns are green. They can be picked at this stage.
- Pineapple – cut and sweetnessThe size of the pineapple slices determines the cuts and thus also the content quantity in our ADRIA cans: thus, the standard pineapple ring size 2 (average ring size 80 – 83 mm) results in 10 to a maximum of 60 slices each in our three can sizes 580 to 3100 ml (see table). However, the ring size also determines the cut and quantity of pineapple pieces in the ADRIA cans. Example: slices of ring size 2 result in 16 pieces (1/16 cut). Pineapple slices with the smallest diameter (60-65 mm) result in 12 pieces (1/12 cut). Accordingly, the pieces from a 1/12 cut are shorter, the pieces from a 1/18 cut (ring size 1) slightly longer. Paul M. Müller mainly deals with the standard 1/16 cut. Above that, our product range includes crushed pineapples in its own juice in the 3100 ml ADRIA can. These are often used as a fruit garnish for yoghurt. By the way: in the case of pineapple sweetness, a distinction is usually made between sugared (usually "choice" products with a Brix content of 18-20), slightly sugared (standard products, 14-17 Brix), in pineapple juice (only fructose) and water pack (especially suitable for diabetics, as there is no added sugar). In the retail trade, the trend is currently from "sugared" or "slightly sugared" to "pineapple juice" in order to satisfy the health aspect. These are often used as a fruit garnish for yoghurt. By the way: In the case of pineapple sweetness, a distinction is usually made between sugared (usually "choice" products with a Brix content of 18-20), slightly sugared (standard products, 14-17 Brix), in pineapple juice (only fructose) and water pack (especially suitable for diabetics, as there is no added sugar). In the retail trade, the trend is currently from "sugared" or "slightly sugared" towards "pineapple juice" in order to satisfy the health aspect.
An overview of the internal forces can be found here (PDF).
- PineapplesPineapple fruit is basically differentiated by the various varieties first. The most well-known variety best suited for canning and industrial processing for us is the “Smooth Cayenne”. It is mainly grown and processed in Thailand, Indonesia and Kenya and has the most intensive flavour due to its high acid content. Besides this, there’s the “Spanish Queen” from Indonesia too, was well as the “Queen variety” from Vietnam. This variety is mainly used for freezing, is a bright yellow in colour but not as aromatic in taste.
If we concentrate on the “Smooth Cayenne”, we differentiate between the individual qualities “Standard” (our main quality sold in Germany, pale yellow), “Choice” (more yellow because it is more mature in colour and flavour) and “Fancy” (bright yellow and with a high level of natural fruit sweetener). Pineapple slices are sold by ring diameter size: for example, ring size 2 is mainly sold in a 580ml can with 10 slices per can. Only 8 full slices of ring size 1 fit in a 850ml can, as the slices are thicker. Either 14, 16 (the standard number of ring size 2) or 18 pieces are then cut up out of these ring sizes to produce pineapple pieces. Pineapple chunks are also produced out of the slices using a different knife. While standard goods are also produced out of broken slices, only whole slices are used for the production of the better “Tidbits” quality. “Grated pineapple” is also produced out of small whole fruits or more broken pineapple parts, as “waste product”.
Pineapple is also a very popular raw product for the drinks industry worldwide.
- Ring-Pull LidThanks to the so called ring-pull lid (or easy-open lid), we don’t need the traditional can opener in this day and age. Ring-pull closures are cap locks from aluminum or tinplate which are considered also as crown caps equipped with an outer ring.
- SardinesTinned sardine fillets – the production is very complex and almost exclusively done by hand.
once the fresh sardines (a type of herring) have been supplied to the factories every day, they then undergo a long process to be turned into a tasty delicacy. The fish is packed in salt straight away and transported to the next process stage in plastic containers. The heads are removed, the fish is gutted and sorted by size. It is then rinsed, salted again and stored in barrels to mature at room temperature for several months. The storage time is based on the flavour or eating habits in different countries. Once the barrels are emptied, the fish is washed thoroughly. Some of the skin comes loose during this process, the rest is removed by hand. The rest of the fish is then spun in large drums to remove all the water. The dried fish bodies are then stored again at below 15°C. During the rest of the process, the fish are laboriously filleted by hand and filled into the tins and jars. Approx. 500 mainly female labourers are employed per shift. Each tin and jar is then weighed by hand, the container is topped up with oil, the lid is attached and mechanically sealed. The tin or jar is washed, dried, marked with ink jet, labelled and packed into boxes. They then head for the dispatch department where they are sent to many countries all over the world.
- ScovilleThe pungency of a foodstuff, i.e. the spiciness of the taste, is measured in "Scoville". This unit of measurement provides information on how hot a foodstuff is and determines the capsaicin content of the product. Capsaicin belongs to the chemical group of alkaloids (organic nitrogen-containing chemical compounds) and is obtained from the solanum Capsicum (paprika variety). It is one of the hottest substances on earth. The higher the capsaicin content, the hotter the pepper! The Scoville measuring method is abbreviated to SHU (Scoville Heat Units) and denotes the detectable spiciness by calculating the pure capsaicin content in the respective product. Until the year 2000, the maximum value was defined as 16,000,000 Scoville. For example, the simple garden pepper has a Scoville degree of 0 without any detectable spiciness. Nowadays, the Scoville scale ranges from 0 to 25,000,000 - the spiciness level of pure capsaicin.
- Seller’s marketThe so called “seller’s market” is an economic situation in which sellers can keep the prices high. The reason of a seller’s market is a shortage of goods resulting from a supply deficit amid steady demand. A seller’s market can also come into formation due to excess demand resulting from an increase in demand and a constant level of supply.
- TomatoThe vegetable tomato belongs to the nightshade family. The common name tomato comes from the Aztec language. According to history, the plant comes from Central and South America and was probably brought to Europe with the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. In French, tomatoes used to be called "pommes d'amour" (love apples) because they were thought to have an aphrodisiac effect. In Italy, this name was adopted as "pomo d'amore" (love apple), which over time became pomodoro.
Among other things, the tomato contains vitamins A, B and C as well as sodium, potassium, magnesium and folic acid. It also contains the plant substance lycopene, a carotenoid that acts against free radicals and is said to prevent oxidative stress caused by UV radiation. While the minerals are said to regulate the skin's moisture balance, vitamin A can control sebum production and vitamin C prevents premature skin ageing.
Lycopene is also responsible for the colour of the tomato. It is exciting that the absorption of this heat-stable pigment in the body is supposedly better from cooked or processed tomatoes than from raw tomatoes. Therefore, one should definitely consume cooked tomatoes or tomato paste more often. Or canned ADRIA tomatoes!
- Use-by DateThe use-by date must be evaluated differently than the best before date. It is indicated on perishable foodstuffs with the words “use by …” and this is meant literally. It is not allowed to sell food which is beyond its use-by date. It actually needs to be discarded. It is thus important not to confuse use-by date and best before date. By contrast to the BBD, the use-by date exactly indicates up to which day the food item is allowed to be used. Easily perishable foodstuffs, for example minced meat or fresh poultry, can be spoiled by germs and can pose a health hazard that the consumer cannot perceive with his own senses. These food products must bear the use-by date. Above that, it is mandatory to comply with the storage regulations and to maintain the cooling chain during the transport from shop to home. Do not consume these products when they are past the use-by date!
The questions posed to consumer advice centers demonstrate that many persons are insecure about the meaning of the BBD – some consumers put the BBD on a level with the use-by date and consider it as “date of decay”. Consumer advice centers have the opinion that all labeling, including the BBD, should be easily understandable for consumers. Frequently, the BBD is hard to find on the products, concealed by labels or hardly legible. Therefore, some consumers notice the short durability of a food item not until after the purchase. The consumer advice centers complain that this misleads the consumers about the quality of the food with regard to the age of the product.