Baked Beans: Inside the Factory—Introduction (02:05)
People in Britain consume over 2 million cans of baked beans every day. Gregg Wallace and Cherry Healey will tour the largest food factory in Europe and follow the journey of a recycled tin can. Ruth Goodman will investigate the importance of tinned food.
Heinz Factory: Bean Intake (04:26)
The factory employs 1,200 staff and runs 24 hours a day to produce 200 products; baked beans are the best seller. Wallace helps oversee the delivery and unloading of Haricot beans; the factory makes 3 million cans of beans a day.
Blanching Room (03:01)
Time and temperature are vital to the rehydration process; the beans will take in approximately 65% more water. The beans undergo a wash before a laser sorter rejects any discolored beans.
Materials Recovery Facility (03:29)
Healey visits a recycling center in East London that sorts 520 truckloads of materials every week. David Rumbold explains the separation process. Healey's tin can becomes part of a cube created by the baling machine.
Spice Mixing Room (02:17)
Every manufacturer uses Haricot beans but each one makes a particular tomato sauce. Only two people know Heinz's spice recipe that has been unchanged since 1896. Wallace tries to determine what is in the powder mixes.
Tomato Sauce Room (02:28)
Wallace helps Peter Foster prepare the sauce for baked beans; Foster is in charge of eight mixing vats. The tomato puree arrives in one ton bags. The factory can produce up to 4 million baked bean cans a day.
Tata Steel (06:36)
Healey follows her tin can to the largest steelworks in the U.K. Workers turn scrap metal into sheets of steel; scrap metal comprises approximately 25% of the finished steel. Workers will coat the steel sheet with tin to prevent rust and protect the beans.
Can Making Factory (03:40)
The factory receives 168 tons of steel every day. The steel sheets travel through a series of machines to become tin cans for baked beans. In Britain, the average household uses more than 10 cans of food per week.
Food Preservation (04:36)
In the early 19th century; malnutrition killed more than half of British seaman in the Seven Years' War. In 1795, Nicolas Appert invented a way of preserving food with glass bottles. Brian Duncan was the first man to successfully use tin cans for preservation.
Filling Hall (02:51)
Jason Lowe explains the process of filling the cans with the blanched Haricot beans and tomato sauce; approximately 465 beans fill each can. A machine seals the cans and the cans move on to the cooking stage.
Canned Food (03:27)
Cans that are not dented, punctured, swollen, or rusty can be used after their best before date. Carla Philips measures the vitamin C of a can of tomatoes 14 months past its best before date and compares it to fresh tomatoes. Dr. Daniel Amond tests a 45-year-old can of skippers for hidden microbes.
Cooking Room (03:20)
Greg Leach oversees the cooking of 3 million cans of baked beans every day. Steam raises the temperature and pressure inside the cans; the cans pass through five chambers of the cooker.
Passion for Baked Beans (02:52)
During the 19th century, Fortnum and Mason was the leading supplier of tinned goods in Britain; they were the first to sell Heinz baked beans. Polly Russell explains the introduction of baked beans to the mass market; British people consume 2 million cans of baked beans every day.
Quality Control and Labeling (02:38)
Every two hours, experts remove a can of baked beans from the production line for tasting. The factory labels over 3 million cans of baked beans per day. Wallace learns about the labeling process and the final quality check.
Food Experiment (05:49)
Healey and Jack Monroe serve a group of foodies a two course gourmet meal made with canned foods; Monroe hopes to dispel the "snobbery" about canned goods.
Distribution Center (04:09)
The center stores nearly all Heinz products made in U.K. factories. Automated cranes maneuver the canned goods. Wallace reviews the production and distribution of baked beans.
Credits: Baked Beans: Inside the Factory—How Our Food Is Made (Series 2) (00:33)
Credits: Baked Beans: Inside the Factory—How Our Food Is Made (Series 2)
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