Providing the ultimate efficiency solutions for food production

BCH feature in the latest edition of Food Manufacturing Africa – a highlight on how we provide the ultimate efficiency solutions in food production.

Here’s just a snippet of the full article:

As the global effort to constantly produce food in more efficient and safer methods continues at pace, BCH rises
to meet these challenges by constantly improving their equipment capabilities. BCH has multiple systems installed across the African continent delivering these benefits.

The BCH range of cooking processes allow the user to cook products in atmospheric, vacuum or pressure conditions, all of which can be combined into one system to gain maximum flexibility, if required. The BCH FlexiChef recipe management system can deliver cooking sequences where the heating jacket can automatically switch between surface temperatures on each individual stage, which not only saves energy, but it also allows the user to process more complex recipes in the fastest times. BCH’s clients rely heavily on traceability and that’s where their reporting system assists with recording all times, weights and temperatures by stage as well as showing trends throughout the process. 

Read the full article on page 14 here: 

Food Manufacturing Africa Q3 2021 by New Media B2B – Issuu

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Versatility of Optima proves a hit with food producers

Since the launch of the Optima at ANUGA   – BCH have successfully supplied the machine to a number of food producers who have recognised the versatility of the all-in-one processing vessel.   Customers have found that the wide range of processing options as well as product types that can be produced at speed using only one vessel gives them huge capabilities.

We are often approached with customers individual requirements and challenges, and we have been able to adapt the original model to incorporate these and deliver a bespoke solution – another good reason to choose BCH.

BCH recently introduced a powder-vacuum loading solution for one of our UK clients. When combined with the Optima’s other high performance capabilities an overall reduction in processing times of nominally 75% were achieved.

The Optima is ideal for the manufacture of a countless variety of food products including confectionery, convenience foods and spreads – the list of current and future possibilities is as endless and diverse as our customers’ imagination.

More than simply a mixing vessel – The BCH Optima is a batch process machine which can be relied upon to perform an impressive range of process steps:

jacket heating • jacket cooling • pressure cooking • pressure discharge • vacuum cooking • vacuum chill • vacuum loading

steam infusion • concentrating • cutting • emulsifying • blending • dispersion • dissolving • evaporation

powder wetting • pasteurisation • auto-dosing • water metering • bowl tipping • liquid drain valve • pump discharge • recipe management

The Optima provides customers with the freedom to become independently creative with their own unique process and product.

Contact BCH today to see how we can assist you with all your processing needs 

Photo by Nicholas Barbaros on Unsplash
Photo by Nicholas Barbaros on Unsplash
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Photo by Nicholas Barbaros on Unsplash

Traditional Hummus Production VS BCH Hummus Production

Photo by Nicholas Barbaros on Unsplash

How is It Possible To Reduce Hummus Production Time by 10 Hours?!

Traditionally, the preparation of chickpeas to make Hummus can take over 10 hours, with the need to pre-soak the raw chickpeas before cooking.  BCH have developed a high speed system which improves the whole chickpea cooking and cooling process by removing the pre-soak stage, speeding up the cooking process, and introducing a rapid cooling method. Food manufacturers can now reduce their labour requirements, whilst saving valuable time and resources such as water, power etc..

This new process solution fits perfectly into today’s modern factory environment, where low risk and high care hygiene regimes require total separation of raw and cooked ingredients.

BCH have been at the forefront of similar product cooking & cooling systems which have been used extensively for many years in prepared foods industries all over the world.

What is Hummus?

Hummus (also known as Houmous) is a traditional Middle Eastern savoury dip which is now popular around the globe. Cooked and ground chickpeas are blended with tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and seasoning.

Hummus is packed with plant based proteins, vitamins and fibre, which are high in nutritional value and ideal for both vegans and vegetarians alike.

Here we compare Traditional Hummus Manufacture with the new BCH System:

Traditional Hummus Production:

There are several stages involved in the traditional time-consuming preparation of chickpeas, usually requiring various different types of equipment and multiple time consuming operations.  Resources such as heavy manual labour, and large volumes of water for soaking & cooling also required.


Traditionally it is necessary to pre-soak the raw chickpeas for around 8 – 12 hours to allow them to take up water and swell before cooking.


The soaked peas are drained and transferred to a heating tank to cook until the skins are softened, and the core has taken up additional water. The cooking process can take between 2 and 3 hours depending upon their moisture content. Typically, 10kgs of raw chickpeas will make around 21 to 22kgs of cooked chickpeas.


The chickpeas are usually cooled immediately after cooking to prevent over-softening & yield loss – typically quench cooled using plenty of cold fresh water, often taking over an hour to reach only 20°C.


The cooled chickpeas are then drained and held ready for processing into hummus.

Ground & Blended

Chickpeas are ground into smooth paste in a different process, and then blended with the other ingredients to produce hummus.

BCH Hummus Production:

Our systems offers a far more streamlined operation, enabling cooking to be carried out in parallel  with cooling, to provide customers with a reliable, semi-continuous, fully integrated production solution.

This unique bulk production method has multiple benefits; saving time, resource, labour and factory floor space – as well as making the whole process far easier and safer. In many cases, it may be possible to reduce production time by up to 10 hours!

Chickpea Pressure Cooking

This stage eliminates the need to pre-soak the chickpeas and shortens the traditional cooking time; raw chickpeas are automatically added into hot water and cooked under pressure, under closely controlled conditions for a short time period.

Chickpea Vacuum Cooling

Immediately after brief QA checks are completed, the chickpeas are vacuum transferred into the cooling chamber where they are subject to high vacuum.  This high vacuum level enables the latent heat to be drawn quickly from the product, which causes the product to cool rapidly.

Typically, the whole cook & transfer cycle time takes approximately 60 minutes depending upon the chickpea softness required.

Drain & Decanting

The cooled chickpeas can then be drained, ready for transforming into hummus. Typically, the cool/discharge cycle time takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes to reach a target temperature of 5°C.

Hummus Blending

Using the BCH Optima –the ingredients can be loaded, chopped, mixed and blended  to produce the perfect Hummus texture whether smooth or coarse.  Typically, the cutting and blending cycle time is approximately 15 to 20 minutes, enabling 2 to 4 batches to be produced per hour, depending upon the hummus recipe requirements.

Total process monitoring completes the package, by using BCH FlexiChef & RMS software, which  ensures that all stage information is recorded & tracked, providing repeatable results as well as full QA compliance.

Individual batch systems are available to produce up to nominally 1250kg/batch of cooked, cooled & drained chickpeas. This machine allows far greater flexibility than continuous processing – with  the automatic sprayball it’s easy to clean down the Optima mixer between different product variants, enabling the factory to quickly change flavours, ingredients & textures without halting the upstream cooking & cooling process.

The Optima machine is also an ideal machine to use for manufacturing a whole range of alternative dips, spreads, sauces and pastes.

Contact BCH now for more details on the total process solution for Hummus production using our latest All-In-One Optima Processing System.

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash
BCH Optima – All in one processing system
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Bratt Pan Trials a Searing Success!

The team recently welcomed a major UK food manufacturer into the Innovation Centre to experience the versatility and benefits a BCH High Temperature Steam Heated Bratt Pan can offer.

A number of trials were conducted searing beef & onions for the Companys’ special range of High Quality Artisan Foods.

The main objective was to demonstrate the excellent colour and flavour development achieved by the Bratt Pan.

The feedback was excellent with the client commenting, “This solution was exactly what we were looking for.”

Following a successful presentation of the trial results at their HQ, the next steps are for the test machine to be introduced into their manufacturing facility for further development work across a wider range of food solutions.

The BCH Bratt Pan can be used to sear all types of proteins and vegetables, as well as the capability of producing an extensive range of soups, sauces, pasta and rice dishes.

BCH Bratt Pans are also used extensively in the production of meals to the airline and allied food service industries, including purveyors of Premium Online and high street specialist ready meal shops.

Read Full Brochure

BCH Bratt PanBCH Bratt Pans

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Inside The Factory

BCH machine for Kendal Mint Cake Features on TV again

This week saw a BCH custom built cooking vessel return to our TV screens on Inside the Factory.

The machine was designed especially for George Romney for the production of syrup product at high temperature without the facility of having steam available in the production facility. Once cooled in moulds, this forms into the world famous Kendal Mint Cake and is all produced on our machine at the one site.

Kendal Mint Cake is enjoyed as a novelty for the many tourists visiting from around the world, or essential energy source for hikers and mountaineers!

You can watch this on catch up in the iPlayer from around 39 minutes. Inside The Factory

It’s not the first time the kettle at Romney’s has featured on TV. You can also watch back an episode of the Ade in Britain Series by following this link Ade In Britain

The machine was also featured previously by Cumbrian TV producer Gary Robinson – Watch Again

BCH are here to help any customers realize their vision by our ability to design and build bespoke machines and solutions for the food and confectionery industry.



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National Curry Week – Developing the Flavour!

Following on with National Curry Week there are even more ways to produce your favourite ethnic meals.

Did you know the UK is the largest ready meal consumer in Europe, more than 30% of adults in the UK consuming more than one ready meal a week, and what better meal to have than the nations favourite curries!

BCH’s bratt pans can be utilised for a wide range of cooking functions including shallow or stir frying, braising, boiling, steaming, poaching or stewing. This versatile pan is also used extensively in the ethnic ready meals industry for cooking basmati and pilau rice using the total absorption cooking methods, and also for the production of curry sauces.

This processing method is most popular for Food Producers who want to ‘Develop the Flavour’ –  the Bratt Pan allows rapid sealing or searing of meat and vegetables.

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It’s all systems go here at BCH HQ!

The factory is bustling with many projects over a wide spectrum of applications & systems from the food and confectionery sectors we serve.

Current projects include a large scale liquorice multifunctional co-extrusion production facility from kitchen through to cutting for an overseas client, Bratt pans for our regular customer who provides handmade convenience meals and a 3 x 1000 Litre pressure cooking system fully pre-assembled for a premium range of Italian meals supplied throughout the UK.

As we proceed through the summer months, there are many more interesting projects on the way. We are also pleased to announce we are up 70 employees!


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International Hummus Day

To celebrate International Hummus Day we thought we would share with you the process of how this is made using BCH process expertise and efficient and environmentally friendly technology. Offering part or the entire process for Hummus production.


How it works:

BCH can offer manufacturers a total process solution using a combination of the BCH Pressure Cooking & Vacuum Cooling process, in conjunction with the BCH Optima – All In One Processing System

Once the chickpeas are cooked, cooled and drained the Optima blends them with a combination of oil, tahini, garlic, salt lemon juice and water to the users exact requirements.

Benefits of  BCH turnkey Hummus System:

  • there is no need to use the traditional pre-soaked chickpea method saving time, space and water.
  • pressure cooking process is up to 70% faster than the traditional atmospheric boiling method.
  • the cooling process is the most energy efficient method on the market.
  • Rapid cooling down to 5°C increases food safety and work in progress capabilities.

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BCH Pie Filling Systems

Want the best Pie Fillings?

As its British Pie Week we thought we would remind everybody that pies aren’t just popular here in the UK and how to achieve the best Pie Fillings!

Consumers as far away as Africa  & Australia are right now enjoying the highest quality savoury and sweet pie fillings around, all manufactured using BCH’s advanced pressure cooking and vacuum cooling systems.

Here are just a few of the benefits gained from our systems to produce those tender melt in the mouth pie fillings…

Pressure cooking is up to 70% faster than the other solutions on the market.

  • As a result, this is the most cost-efficient production method.
  • Cheaper cuts of meat can be used to gain the same quality end product.
  • Likewise, for the vegetarian options ~ pulses, beans & chickpeas are amongst many other types of traditionally ‘long-cook’ vegetable processes benefitting from our technology.
  • Sealed cooking retains moisture and locks in the flavour and nutrients lost using atmospheric and direct steam applications.
  • Vacuum cooling is the fastest, safest and most energy-efficient cooling system on the market.


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Happy New Year!

The team at BCH have recently dispatched a multi-purpose ready meal cooking plant to one of our existing clients in Australia in order to fulfil their ongoing expansion plans. The system comprises 3 x 1000 Litre cooking vessels with our popular horizontal agitation system and well proven FlexiCHEF recipe management and process control systems.

The skid was fully assembled and tested prior to despatch in order to minimise time and disruption on the clients operational site and is ready for integration with the on-site downstream filling and CIP systems.

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