What Even Is Soup

Why Andy Warhol painted 32 cans of soup is beyond anyone but we definitely understand the fascination. Soup is a staple food to any country or culture and they all concocted their own recipes and way of creating them. However, making an old-fashioned soup actually requires more time than it looks. With its content being more liquid, there is that requirement that for soup to be thoroughly enjoyed, it has to be flavourful. Aside from condiments and seasonings, the best way to do this is to continuously subject the solid ingredients such as chicken or vegetables in boiling water for long periods of time. This tedious process eventually paved the way to develop easy soups. Soup manufacturers researched and developed all sorts of quick soup solutions. On top of these varieties, there also tons of flavours to go for such as onion, vegetable, and cream of mushroom. You can literally have different soups every single day of the month without repeating any flavour.

Commercially manufactured soups are sold in different types such as dry soup stock, canned soups, and even soup pastes. And although soup is generally good for the body (and soul), additional ingredients, such as maltodextrin, xanthin gum, and emulsified fats are added to instant soup to ensure consistency. While these ingredients are usually not on the list of your mum’s soup recipe, rest assured they are safe to consume.

Canned soup is typically the most preferred by households. Aside from it feeling more natural and homemade than a dry powder mix, these soups only need a quick re-heating and maybe little personal tweaks and they are ready to be served. Canned soups are made like any other homemade soups. Ingredients are mixed and cooked together to form a soup base. The only difference here is upon packing the soup base into the cans, they are then subjected to extra time in a pressure cooker. This pasteurises all of the ingredients to prohibit any bacteria from forming inside and securely preserving it for future consumption. Soup cans are also very tightly concealed to prevent outside contamination which would tamper with its preserved quality, this is why soup manufacturers strongly suggest that upon signs of tampering or bloated cans, the soup should not be used for consumption. This is also another reason why soup manufacturers do not use hot filling in the soup cans, this is another process entirely.

Dried soup powders are a little bit less preferred but these totally work for instant noodle packs because of its easiness to prepare with just simple hot water. With this type of instant soup manufacturing, the ingredients are not only cooked but are also dehydrated as well. This process of dehydration is a little bit more costly due to the process of sublimation – a process where water is evaporated from food while it is still frozen. Moisture is taken out of the soup base and the ingredients to sort of preserve everything and the reduced water content prevents bacteria to grow and thus, creating an anti-space for mould and yeast. Water is simply added upon intended consumption and a couple of minutes is usually allotted to give room for the ingredients to retain moisture. Instant soups boast shelf life more than any other preserved food. While it does seem easy to develop a more long-lasting form of such a basic meal, the process of food manufacturing requires heavy research and tests by food researchers and developers such as the ones found here.

So the next time you dig into a can of soup, you can appreciate the amount of hours which went into researching and developing the product to allow you to have the cheap and easy convenience of canned soup.

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