What are standard components?
Standard components are pre-pared food items/ingredients that are used in the production of another food product. In the food industry manufacturers buy standard components from other manufacturers.
Some examples of standard components are:
- Pizza bases
- Ready-to-roll icing
- Stock cubes
- Pasta sauces
- Cake decorations
- Dreis herbs
Using a standard component ensures:
- A standard shape of a product
- A standard size or weight
- A standard flavour
- Accurate proportion and ratio
Why do manufacturers use standard compnents?
Standard components save time, sometimes costs, and ensure that a consitent product is produced. If a manufacturer wants to use a standard component from another supplier then it is essential that they produce a precise and accurate specification. Before deciding to use a standard component the manufacturer will check:
- The nutritional profile of the product
- Whether the product uses any additives such as artificail colours or flavours
- Sensory qualities such as taste, texture and apperance
- The source of ingredients, e.g. air miles, use of organic ingredients
It is important that the component meets the standards set by the manufacturer.
Advantages of using standard components.
Some advantages of using standard components are:
- Saves preperation time
- Ensures consistency of texture, flavour, weight, shape and colour. Allows for an exact replication of the product each time that it's made
- The quality is garunteed if an accurate specification is produced
- Can speed up the manufacturing process
- Less effort and skill is required by staff
- Less machinery and specialist equipment is required
- There is less risk of cross contamination as high risk foods can be produced elsewhere
- A wider range of products can be produced from the same standard component.
Disadvantes of using standard components.
Some disadvantages of using standard components are:
- Manufacturers are dependant on another manufacturer to supply a product so it's less reliable
- The components can be more expensive than manufacturing them yourself
- The sensory qualities of the components may not bee as good
- A considerable amount of storage space may be required
- Special storage conditions may be required
- Time required for ordering and supplying
- The quality may not be as good as you wish.
The use of standard components in the test kitchen
When making food products in the test kitchen it will be necessary to use standard compnents. When carrying out experiments and investigations it is acceptable to make use of some ready made ingredients.