A couple of weeks ago I went on a trip to the Czech Republic. I went as a guest of Cow & Gate to meet some of their apple farmers and learn about the journey of a Cow & Gate apple.
I met Pavel the man in charge of apple quality control for Cow & Gate. He is a very clever chap with a PHD in plant protection and a passion for apples that has to be seen to be believed. I mean seriously this guy can, and did, talk about apples all day long.
So if you ever have or will consider giving your baby a jar of Cow & Gate apple baby food I give you the journey from the orchard to the mouth. First the apples are grown in the fields of The Czech Republic by a number of apple farmers, under the instruction on Pavel. They may not be organic but since the quality control of baby food is so high, the apples used are baby grade. What this means is that the levels of residue in the finished product are 10 parts per billion which is extremely low.
Next the apples are stored, in plastic crates (as wooden ones can contaminate the apples) in low oxygen storage. This part blew my mind, basically stored this way the apples can be kept fresh all year round. This means that on the whole the food is made from fresh apples, not puree, meaning it retains more of the nourishment.
Next the apples are transported to the factory to be turned into baby food. In the factory they are peeled, sieved, pureed, heated and poured into jars. Then they are cooked and pasteurised before being labelled and dated. This is the part that Cow & Gate are really proud of, basically they can take any jar of baby food and trace it back to the very field that the apples where picked from.
Finally each batch gets lab tested, to make sure that the food is the exact quality that it should be, then distributed to the shops. That’s where you come in, you buy the jar of baby food and your baby gets to enjoy high quality, nutrient rich baby food from Cow & Gate.
* Disclaimer -Cow & Gate took me on a trip to the Czech Republic.