Tesco Uses Optical Grading Technology For Brussels Sprouts
UK retailer Tesco has said it is using high technology optical grading machines to select the best possible Brussels sprouts for its aisles.
The machines will photograph about 180 million sprouts, taking hundreds of 360-degree sprout photographs per second, according to the retailer.
TH Clements, based near Boston in Lincolnshire, is one of the UK’s largest growers of brassica and is the latest Tesco grower to invest in an optical grading machine. Tesco said that now 95% of all sprouts it sells are photographed.
Sprouts have benefited from ideal growing conditions this autumn thanks to good amounts of sunshine and the weather getting cold now, Tesco said.
From Farm To Fork
“Thanks to the the latest technology our customers will be able to buy the very best tasting and freshest sprouts available on British high streets," said Rob Hooper, Tesco sprout expert. “Most importantly for customers though is that these machines speed up the grading procedure which drastically cuts the time by which we can get sprouts from farm to fork. So however you do Christmas, we’ve got your dinner covered.”
According to Tesco, Britons eat more Brussels sprouts than anyone else in Europe. Around 25% of the annual Brussels sprouts consumption in the UK happens in the two weeks leading up to Christmas.
The vegetable got its name through its high popularity in the Belgian capital in the 16th century. However, it actually is thought to originate from Iran or Afghanistan.
The sprout industry is now worth a whopping £650,000,000 and the area covered by Brussels sprout fields in the UK is the equivalent of 3,240 football pitches.
The humble sprout is packed with vitamins and other nutrients. It contains high levels of vitamins A and C, folic acid and dietary fibre, and can help protect against colon and stomach cancer. An 80g serving of sprouts contains four times more vitamin C than an orange.
In August, adventurer Stuart Kettell, 49, rolled a Brussels sprout to the top of Mt. Snowdon using only his nose, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer support.
Another UK retailer, Waitrose, has been keenly promoting the vegetable in its stores too. At the beginning of December it launched its Christmas 'Sprout Wreath'. It also introduced a sprout-like chocolate dome shell dessert filled with profiteroles.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.