The art of picking peas has been compared to a military operation.
And during this operation, timing is very important. The pea pods need to be plucked just when they are about the right size. The good has to be separated from bad real soon and packaged and sent to the freezer.
Although pea harvesting is typically a labour-intensive job, mechanized pea harvesters – machines that do everything including plucking, hulling and storing – have started doing the job perfectly.
India’s First Green Pea Combined Harvester
Realising the immensity of the scale of operations that would get McDonald’s India its daily supply of premium green peas, Vista Foods, which supplies peas, entered into a partnership with Punjab Agro to procure India’s first Green Pea Combined Harvester.
The Harvester brings multiple advantages over manual picking: It dramatically reduces the labour involved in picking peas, helps de-pod at the farm itself, identifies foreign objects and helps separate them from the produce using an air-blower, uses optical sorters to size-grade, and allows the pea residue to be used as green manure.
The selected peas are then flash-frozen during a two-and-a-half-hour time span. The rush to get the peas into the freezer is to ensure that no quality is lost in its journey from a field-fresh vegetable to a frozen pea.
It is interesting to know that the peas used to make a veg patty at McDonald’s burger cannot be more than 10 mm in diameter. Otherwise, they will either stick out of the patty or break them. The smaller peas that make the selection, also need to have just the right amount of sweetness that a McDonald’s patty is known for.
And that is the thing about the perfect patty peas!