BOC is helping to keep one of the country’s oldest spice companies at the top of their game – and at the top of their market too. Regular supplies of nitrogen gas play an essential role in getting the highest quality herbs and spices to Britain’s tables.
British Pepper and Spice has a history dating back to over 350 years to the time of King James II. Originally based in the capital, at the heart of Britain’s expanding trading and commercial operations, in recent years it has relocated to Northampton.
Most households will have at least one product in their kitchen cupboards that has some ingredients from British Pepper and Spice. The company’s products are marketed direct through a number of brands, but it is also a major supplier to catering companies and food manufacturers. Around eight thousand tonnes of herbs and spices are sourced from around the globe every year by the company. From parsley to pepper and saffron, all of these different products have to be separately dried, processed and packed.
A key part of this procedure is the milling and packing operation. To make sure the process is at its most efficient, the company uses nitrogen gas to produce an inert atmosphere. Milling involves a lot of heat through friction and the nitrogen ensures that the powdered materials cannot burn which would affect the quality of the finished products.
BOC has many decades of experience in supplying food-grade gases to industry. Food manufacturing is such a diverse sector that the company has become expert at developing innovative responses to individual customers needs. One of the key factors in persuading British Pepper and Spice that the UK’s largest supplier of gases could provide the right solution was the way in which BOC was able to minimise any disruption to the production cycle.
“BOC offered a complete package which met all our requirements,” noted Operations Director Jerry Forskitt. “Importantly, they were able to complete the installation of all the new equipment over a weekend in order to ensure that production could continue with the minimum of inconvenience. The whole operation was carried out smoothly and professionally.”
BOC Food Industry Specialist Graham Schneider commented: “The inert atmosphere during milling is a key part of the production process. With its experience in the food industry, BOC was able to provide the right combination of product, equipment and service to meet the exact requirements of this major specialist food business.”