Documentary series. Ruth Goodman investigates the origin of Worcestershire sauce, as told by Mr Lea and Mr Perrins.
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Mayonnaise. Every year in Britain we work our way through nearly
40 million kilos of the stuff.
And it all starts with thousands of eggs, like these!
Which go on an incredible journey before ending up in jars like this.
This time we are in the Netherlands
with the amazing story of one of our favourite condiments.
By taking you inside
one of the largest sauce factories in the world.
I'm Gregg Wallace.
And I'll come face-to-face with some cracking technology.
That may be the best machine I have ever seen!
I'm Cherry Healy,
and I'll be revealing the secrets of our favourite sauces,
including the 2000-year-old recipe for soy sauce.
I can taste it.
While historian Ruth Goodman
investigates the fishy origins of Worcester sauce.
So, this idea that they had to discover the fermentation.
People had been doing it for years.
Over the next 24 hours,
this factory will produce three quarters of a million
jars and bottles of mayonnaise.
And we're going to show you just how they manage production
on such a massive scale.
Welcome to Inside The Factory.
This is the Heinz factory in the town of Elst in the Netherlands.
One of the biggest sauce factories in Europe,
churning out almost a quarter of a million tonnes every year.
They produce a saucy smorgasbord that includes tomato ketchup,
brown sauce and salad cream, as well as mayonnaise.
And, amazingly, over half of what they produce here is sent to the UK.
This 19.5 acre site runs 24 hours a day and 350 people work here.
Tonight, we take a look at how they make their traditional mayonnaise
But before we can start making mayonnaise,
we need one of the most important ingredients - eggs.
I'm heading 15 miles east, close to the city of Arnhem,
to one of 200 farms that supply our factory.
This one is run by Theo Janson.
His 23,000 free-range hens lay their eggs
in this 2,600 square metre barn.
Hello. Hello, Gregg.
This is far more noisy than I expected.
Yes, very much noise.
Can you explain to me, please, how you collect the eggs?
OK, in the morning, about seven, the lights go on
and the chickens wake up.
And, then, in a few hours, they get laying the eggs.
And the eggs roll down,
-cos the nests are a bit...
-Ah, I see!
So, the nest is sloped?
-And, at the bottom of the slope is a conveyor belt.
-Yes, a belt.
-And the eggs gently roll down onto the belt.
How many eggs every day?
We have about 21,500 eggs.
Over 20,000 eggs rolling down a hill?
Yes. Every day.
This is where our mayonnaise production line begins.
Most hens lay an egg a day
and the factory is depending on them because,
without eggs, there's no mayo.
The chickens sleep and lay in the barn.
The rest of the day, they head outside to play.
Meanwhile, their eggs are travelling 80 metres along a series
of conveyor belts to the sorting area.
So, the eggs are rolling in there.
-So, what are you picking out here?
The wrong ones I get out.
What you mean wrong ones? Why wrong?
Broken eggs, or a very big egg,
because a very big egg can't go through the machine.
Each egg is delicately placed into a tray ready for transportation,
always pointed side down,
which ensures the yolk sits perfectly
in the centre of the shell.
It's a machine but it has to be very gentle.
It has. Very gentle.
If this goes wrong,
it must make the biggest mess you can possibly imagine.
The 21,500 eggs rolling along here will be enough to make nearly 11,000
jars of mayonnaise.
But they're not going anywhere until a code has been stamped
onto their shells.
This is a sort of egg passport.
We are not allowed to move any egg from our company without a print.
And what does it say?
There is a one, one means free-range.
If there is, for example, a zero, it's organic.
-Two is for a barn egg.
-And three is in a cage.
Is that for eggs in the UK the same?
-And what are the other numbers?
It's the number of our company, and the number of the barn.
The code means each egg can be tracked
right up until the very moment it's cracked open.
You know, we all eat eggs.
I don't know how many people read eggs.
How long does it take to process all those eggs?
About an hour.
What do you do with the rest of your day?
Keep my wife company.
While Theo keeps his wife company,
the free-range eggs are loaded onto pallets.
Then they're off on another journey.
They travel 40 miles north
from the farm to a specialist processing factory...
..which receives and processes up to four million eggs
every single day.
Careful! Don't break any!
In charge of this huge undertaking is Jan Zuiderveld.
-Nice to meet you.
I don't think anybody really has seen this many eggs.
Well, there are many eggs here,
approximately 10 million ladies are working to produce these eggs.
The ladies in question produced this lot just 2.5 hours ago.
Now the green trays are removed from the pallets
and their fragile cargo is lifted out.
That looks like a very delicate operation.
Yes, it is. Each egg is taken individually by the suckers,
and transferred onto the belt.
And spun around and placed down?
I'm just nervous. I'm watching eggs flying through the air,
held up by adapted vacuum cleaners, and it makes me nervous.
Yeah, no, but nothing will happen.
We want eggs only to be cracked when it's necessary, and not before.
Well, that's my eggs sorted.
You can't make mayonnaise without them.
This particular mayo was launched just 18 months ago.
Cherry went to find out how its recipe was developed.
Three years ago,
the consumer scientists at this innovation centre were asked
to come up with a new mayonnaise.
Sounds simple enough?
Well, it turns out, not quite.
Manuel Elgabi is the head of the sensory team here.
-Hi, Manuel, nice to meet you, I'm Cherry.
Tasked with developing a mayonnaise everyone in Europe would like.
What was your mission?
It was a big challenge for us
to develop the best mayonnaise recipe for Europe.
That sounds simple enough,
just make a really fantastic mayonnaise.
It's not that simple and I'm going to show you now why.
Manuel checked out the most popular mayonnaise on the market
in each of 11 European countries
and found they were remarkably different.
This is, for example, like mayonnaise from the UK.
So, this one, I imagine, will be very familiar.
Very eggy, a bit salty.
OK, that's quite typical.
Let's taste one from Belgium.
Is that more vinegary?
-Mm-hmm. You got it.
-You got it.
-And what about the colour, for example?
-Definitely more yellow, and less lumpy than a UK one.
Then you have the French one.
-This is very yellow.
-It is yellow, it's thick,
but also you can pick easily...
-You got it.
-You got it.
In Poland, they like an extra thick mayo.
Almost looks like porridge.
-Yeah, like porridge.
While the Germans like it sugary.
Gosh, that's like jam.
-It's really sweet.
-Really, really, really sweet.
I mean, they're so different.
Yeah, as you can see,
differences in colour, texture, taste, from salt,
sweet, sour, mustardy.
Flavour preferences identified,
Manuel's team next looked at
how people in each country used mayonnaise.
Most of us are familiar with the Dutch love of mayo on chips...
Oh! Is there anything better?
..but the team's development chef, Paul Murphy,
discovered some more unusual uses.
When I think of mayo, I think of chips and sandwiches.
Maybe salad. But how else do people use mayonnaise?
We discovered that mayonnaise is used certainly in southern Europe,
especially Spain, to marinade fish for baking.
That is really odd, to marinade something in mayonnaise.
It's as simple as brushing the fish with mayonnaise,
it's baked in the oven, and that really locks in the flavour and the moisture.
Other nationalities used mayo for everything
from dips to couscous salad.
In the UK, it's very popular to have pizza crusts to dip into mayonnaise
-and other sauces.
-I have to say, I absolutely love doing that.
-I didn't know that was a thing.
I just thought that was something that my household did.
That's something that horrified
-some of our colleagues from across Europe.
So, you've done your research,
you know what kind of flavours the different areas like,
and you know how people eat their mayonnaise.
-So, what happens next?
How do you then create the perfect mayonnaise?
You have to listen to consumers.
-And this is what we did.
How many people tried and tested your recipes?
In total, during the whole process, more than 5,000 consumers.
So, this has been a huge mission?
Manuel tested and rejected
over 70 recipes until a winner was found.
So, this is definitively the European mayonnaise?
I can absolutely see why you are so proud of that.
When you develop recipes, it's about what the consumers like.
But, in this case,
consumers loved this recipe and I love it, too.
So, next time you dip a chip, spare a thought for Manuel and his team.
Back at the egg processing factory,
my eggs have, so far, been handled with kid gloves,
but that's about to change.
They need to be cracked open.
Mayonnaise requires only the egg yolk,
so this must be separated from the white.
Jan has a test for me.
OK, Gregg, I have a challenge for you.
How many eggs can you separate in ten seconds?
I think you'd be lucky to do one in ten seconds.
Try it. I will count for you.
-You're going to time me?
-Whoa, whoa! Wait for it! Haven't got me hands on it! HE LAUGHS
-Uh-oh, I broke it!
OK, that counts.
Shall I show you a machine which can break, in ten seconds,
Two hours and 55 minutes after they were collected,
the eggs reach the SANOVO OptiBreaker 12
egg breaking machine.
Its job is simple - crack open the eggs
and separate the yolks from the whites.
And at a rate of nearly 1,700 a minute,
it does this very efficiently.
What on earth is going on?
How is it doing that?
It's got egg yolks on the top,
and it's got a cup of egg whites...
-How is it doing that?
-It's not doing it that much different
than you just did with the bowl.
The eggs come through the machine, a knife will cut the shell,
then the egg breaks, the contents will fall down, and, as you can see,
the yolk will stay in the upper cup and the egg white
will flow nicely to the lower cup.
So, the yolk is in one little plastic hand,
and the egg white is in a little plastic tray underneath?
-That is amazing!
That may be the best machine I have ever seen.
The shells shoot out of the side,
while the white is siphoned off,
destined for use in things like cakes and meringues.
The yolks I need for my mayonnaise head out along the shoot.
Then they're pumped into a 10,000 litre tank.
Next, Jan and his team add salt.
It's about 20 feet high, full of egg yolks!
-Yeah, that's right.
-And now you add salt?
-Now we add the salt.
-Shall we put the salt in?
Ba-roop ta-rot ta-trot? HE CHUCKLES
All right, OK! All right.
How long is that process now?
The whole thing itself takes about 30 minutes.
Why do you add salt?
Without salt, the shelf life is only two weeks.
With salt, it can be up to three months.
Salt increases the shelf life of egg yolks
from possibly two weeks to possibly three months?
Salt is a natural preservative.
It creates a hostile environment
for the organisms that cause food to go off.
It makes up 11% of my egg yolk mix,
which is then pasteurised to kill any remaining bacteria.
What is that?
That's the container where the final product is packed in.
Each container will contain 1,000 kilos of salted product.
1,000 kilos of salted egg yolks?
Yes, that's right.
That's 49,000 yolks.
You'd need a very big toasted soldier to dip into that egg yolk.
Just over six hours after my eggs were collected,
their yolks take a 50 mile journey to the sauce factory.
They'll soon be playing a very important role
in the production of my condiment.
There's enough egg in that container
to make 25,000 jars of mayonnaise.
But that's just a tiny proportion of the amount we get through
every year in the UK.
Ruth's been finding out when we first fell in love with it.
Today, mayonnaise is the sauce that lubricates our lunchtime sandwiches
and salads, as well as our late night fast food.
But how did this white sauce conquer our taste buds?
To find out, I have to rewind to the 1960s,
when American sauce company Hellmann's
launched their jars of mayonnaise in the UK.
To see how it transformed the decade's eating habits,
I'm meeting food anthropologist Kaori O'Connor.
-What a spread! It's so colourful!
-Isn't it gorgeous?
These are salads from the great days when mayonnaise first came
-So, what was there before mayonnaise, then?
Oh, there was salad cream.
There was this boiled, sour dressing
that you just dribbled over a naked British salad...
-I remember that.
-..which was just lettuce, tomato and cucumber.
This had been Britain's sauce of choice through wartime rationing,
but this vinegary favourite
was pushed aside by the more exotic newcomer,
which introduced British housewives
to a new world of culinary creativity.
So, what exactly have we got here?
Here is a mayonnaise mould.
Carrot on the top, spinach on the bottom and, in the middle,
you've got mayonnaise.
Another, um, innovation
was Polynesian pineapple with ham.
You've got some tinned peaches in there as well,
tossed together with this wonderful mayonnaise sauce,
and sprinkled over with toasted almonds.
It is, like, irresistible!
All of these dishes come from popular magazine recipes
of the time, and the piece de resistance
was the spectacular frosted party loaf.
Oh, my goodness!
Isn't that gorgeous?
It's a sandwich cake.
It does look rather cake like, except it's got radishes on it.
It's bread with layers of ham and salmon and tuna.
All sort of smothered in mayonnaise?
Mayonnaise, you know, really changed what we eat, like,
-you've never seen this before.
-Never seen this before.
And it also changes the way we eat.
Like, not necessarily in formal courses,
but informally in the garden with this fun food.
-OK, let's give it a go.
Very unusual. Unusual's the word!
By the 1970s, mayonnaise had conquered British dinner tables.
And it started to transform eating out, too,
when American style burger joints burst onto the scene.
After all, what's a hamburger and fries
without a good helping of mayo?
The real American burger brought in a whole new way of eating.
You picked it up with your hands,
the mayonnaise ran down your arms and you just enjoyed it!
And, if you could,
you got hold of fries and you dipped them in the mayonnaise as well.
This is a new thing, isn't it, the idea of dipping foods,
-sharing it across the table.
-Oh, dipping, absolutely!
And mayonnaise really lends itself to this sort of eating.
Next, mayonnaise was to revolutionise the working lunch.
In 1981, Marks & Spencer introduced its packet sandwiches,
and the bestseller was prawn mayo. Just as it is today.
Cheers, mate, thank you.
In about 60 years, mayonnaise has done something unique.
It has become the food for every occasion, from dinner parties,
eating out, to a quick sandwich at your desk.
Mind you, I do hope that the frosted party loaf
never, ever comes back into fashion.
Back in the Netherlands,
the egg yolk needed for my mayonnaise
has made the one-hour journey from
the processing plant to the main factory.
At ingredients intake,
receiving delivery of the other main ingredient
is logistics manager Dan Schreiber.
This tanker is full of what?
-How much rapeseed oil?
-24.5 tonnes, actually.
Right, OK. So, what do you do?
We need to take a sample, of course, and do some basic measurements,
and then once that's all clear,
we can unload it and hook it up to our tanks.
-Can I take the sample?
-Yes, you can do that.
-I can show you.
-Is it going to come out...?
No, no. Normally, not. Normally, not.
So, basically, you're putting it below that...
-Yeah, and then you can lift the lever, the blue one.
68% of my finished mayonnaise will be oil,
so it's important to check the quality is up to scratch...
..before it's piped into the factory.
-Who takes it?
-You give it to the driver, and he can take it into
-Morning. Thank you, sir.
Rapeseed oil is ideal for our recipe,
because of its light taste and colour.
Test passed, we're ready to unload.
-Right-oh. Ready, Dan?
We just release the valve and then we put it on.
And then putting it on.
-To the right.
Perfect, we're on.
It takes an hour and a half
to unload the oil into these huge tanks.
Plenty of time to check the other ingredients are ready.
-Well, I recognise this.
-Yeah, these are the egg yolks.
-What is that?
We use it in mayo kitchen to make our mayonnaise.
Do you know what type of mustard it is?
It's not the same as you would put on your potatoes at home.
It's a little lower oil content,
so the sharpness is a little bit gone,
but it's perfect for using in our mayonnaise.
Oh, right. We've got egg yolks...
Oil from the tanker.
Yes. We're done. Let's get it to the kitchen and we...
-Kitchen? You call it a kitchen?
My ingredients are collected...
..and taken to the kitchen by a team of forklift drivers.
If you asked me to make mayonnaise at home,
I'd pretty much use the same ingredients as they do here,
but I don't mind admitting, what goes into another
of our favourite sauces is a bit more mysterious.
If, like me, you can't let a week go by without some sushi,
you might be wondering how this little sachet of soy sauce is made,
and where. Well, I've travelled miles and miles
to find the answer.
Today, I'm in Wales.
Abertillery, in the Welsh Valleys,
is home to Shoda Sauces' European factory.
Leanne Ford is the technical manager.
She's introducing me to the secrets of soy's
2,000-year-old Japanese recipe.
-Hi, nice to meet you.
Lovely to meet you.
So, first things first, what is soy sauce made of?
OK, so, soy sauce is made of soy beans,
wheat, water and salt.
We'll soak the beans in water,
then we will take the beans and cool them.
Wahey! Whoa! That is one big tin of beans.
-So, these are soy beans...
-..and they have been soaked and cooked and cooled?
Soy sauce is made from soy beans - the clue's in the name.
But the next ingredient is much more surprising.
This koji, mould,
it's called koji, is absolutely essential for soy sauce brewing.
Why do you use this one?
It gives the distinct flavour,
it gives the characteristics of soy sauce and it is Japanese.
-Is this where the magic happens?
The mould powder is poured into one tonne of organic wheat.
This is hoisted up and added into the tank
of cooked soy beans, where it's all mixed up together.
From the mixer, it's piped into what looks like
a silver space capsule.
-OK, so this is the koji machine, as we call it.
Wow! What goes on inside here?
OK, so the floor rotates as we fill it.
And then in here gets turned, and we control the temperature and humidity
so that the mould can start working.
This hot tank provides the perfect conditions
for the koji to grow.
Moulds can make foods inedible,
but here it's performing an astonishing chemical transformation.
Over 48 hours, it breaks down the wheat and beans,
releasing starch and sugars.
Salt and soft Welsh water are added to the mix.
And it's pumped into 12 tanks
that each hold 14,000 litres.
But it's far from ready.
Yeast is added to kick-start
what will be a six-month fermentation process.
So, this is one of the newest.
So, this in here, the fermentation process has started.
It's at the very beginning here, so it's only been in there
about a month, so it's got five months to go.
It's here that the distinctive colour,
flavour and aroma of soy sauce develop.
I mean, I...
I can taste it.
-I mean, it's incredibly strong!
-It's like having a mouthful of something.
After half a year of fermentation,
the mixture is sent to the press.
Wow, that is a vision.
Oh, my goodness me!
So, there it is.
-It doesn't look...wonderful.
No, it doesn't, no.
But it smells incredible.
There's still one final process.
So, here we go.
Oh! It makes a great noise.
140 layers are stacked up on top of each other.
This labour-intensive technique
ensures that the maximum quantity of sauce
can be extracted from the mix.
-A bit more on the top.
This is one of the most satisfying things I've ever done.
There we go.
80 tonnes of pressure
forces the liquid out of the mixture.
Then it's pasteurised and bottled.
Or put into sachets.
So, next time you tear open your sachet of soy sauce
and you enjoy that 2000-year-old traditional recipe,
spare a thought for the distance that it's travelled -
all the way from the Welsh Valleys.
Ten hours after my eggs were collected,
everything I need to make my mayonnaise is in place.
My ingredients have travelled from the intake area to the mixing room,
known as the kitchen.
I'm meeting Danielle.
-Hi, Danielle. Nice to meet you.
You, apparently, are the mayonnaise expert.
I hope I can prove you right.
Now, look, I've seen the egg yolks, the oil and the mustard.
How do you make mayonnaise here?
Well, we add water, we add salt, we add a bit of sugar,
we add a bit of mustard and some secret spices.
Every company has its secret, doesn't it?
-Every company has its own secret spices.
But at home, it's only egg,
mustard and oil - no water.
-A bit of water.
-You use water at home?
-Yeah, a little bit.
-When we make mayonnaise, we always start with,
what we call, a water phase.
With the press of a button, 1,500 litres of water
mixed with salt is pumped into a mixing tank,
along with sugar and vinegar.
What I will now do is add the spices.
-Oh, it's here.
-Let me smell, let me smell.
-What do you think?
-I think you've got more salt.
I'm not going to spoil the secret.
And something that smells a little bit citrus-y.
Yeah, could be. So, do you want to do the honours and add it?
-I'll do it.
-Yeah? There you go.
-Gradually? Doesn't matter, right?
The secret spices give the mayonnaise the specific flavour
profile that was so carefully developed by Manuel
in the research lab.
We have to add some mustard as well. For the spices.
That's a big pot of mustard!
It is. Are you ready?
We'll confirm on the display that
it's ready, that we added the mustard.
Just push the button.
And now look at the tank, it's cooling.
Is that going to come over the top?
This watery mixture is heated up.
The next stage involves an ingredient - starch -
that I never use at home when I'm making mayonnaise.
Normally, when you make mayonnaise at home, you keep it for a day
or two days, but because we make it industrial,
we have to keep it at a nice viscosity for a longer time,
and that is why we need some help from starches.
-Without starch, with age, the mayonnaise would get thinner.
It will get thinner, and it's strange when you open a mayonnaise
-and it looks like yoghurt.
-Yeah, I got you.
Starch is added to a small amount of the rapeseed oil
I helped unload earlier.
-Can you handle it?
-I was a greengrocer.
-Yeah, all done.
-How long will it take?
-It will take about five minutes.
Then we're going to mix.
Finally! That's how we do it.
Well, I'm well on the way to making my mayonnaise.
But choosing a successful sauce
isn't just about what you put into it,
but how you market it, as Ruth discovers.
Worcester sauce is a favourite addition to food,
snacks and drinks the world over.
It's a potent mix of fermented anchovies, onions,
garlic and a blend of spices.
The story goes that it was invented
by two chemists developing a recipe
that has come all the way from Bengal in 1837.
Oh, thank you. Thanks.
The first concoction was not to their liking,
so they shoved it in the cellar and forgot about it.
And then 18 months later,
they got it out and tried it again.
And somehow it had become delicious.
And the chemists' names?
John Lea and William Perrins.
Today, the names Lea and Perrins
are synonymous with Worcestershire sauce.
The company factory is still based in Worcester,
and, for over a century, the bottles have been marketed
as the original Worcestershire sauce.
But food historian Glyn Hughes...
Well, hello, Ruth.
..thinks the traditional long-standing story of its invention
sounds a bit fishy.
At Worcester Archives, he's unearthed a recipe
for something that sounds very like Worcestershire sauce,
in a cookery book published as early as 1723.
Have a look at this. The recipe for lampreys,
which were the famous fish caught at Worcester.
-And the special sauce to go with lampreys,
which is made mainly from vinegar
and spices and anchovies.
The same basic ingredients that go into Worcester sauce.
Way back in 1720s.
And Glyn has more evidence that questions our chemists' story
of its invention in 1837.
The first record we can find of ready-made Worcester sauce
is from 1830.
This is an advertisement in the Salopian Journal.
And that's an interesting date, 1830.
That's seven years before the supposed invention.
So, this idea that they had to discover the fermentation -
people had been doing it for years.
And there's already a product on the market.
Who's the company involved here?
So, we've got... Oh, yes, Twinberrow and Evans,
chemists, Broad Street in Worcester.
So, it can't be far off here.
The exact address is listed in a trade directory from 1835
as No 53 Broad St.
So, this is it, then, 53.
So, could this place claim to be the birthplace
-of bottled Worcester sauce?
-As far as we can tell, yes,
Twinberrow and Evans are certainly the first company who ever
advertised bottled Worcester sauce.
Interestingly, the trade directory lists rival chemists John Lea
and William Perrins as being just down the road
at No 68 Broad St.
They are very close to each other, aren't they? I mean...
-Only just down there...
-It's hard to think that they
-wouldn't have known about each other's projects.
-Impossible, wasn't it?
Mid-19th century chemists didn't just dispense medicines -
they also made and sold all kinds of other products,
from soap to condiments.
And I suppose we have no idea what exact recipe
Twinberrow and Evans were actually making.
I suppose we can be confident that every chemist had their own recipe
for everything they made.
So, whether there was much similarity, or whether they
were completely different
between No 53 and No 68,
we just don't know.
Ultimately, the battle of the Worcester sauces would be won by
the chemists at No 68.
They turned it into an international brand.
They were geniuses at marketing.
They had bottles of Lea and Perrins put on the tables on cruise ships.
In, I think, 1842, they went from something like, in one year,
600-odd bottles to 14,000,
-in a period of 12 months.
The old story of its origins may be something of a fiction,
but the power of marketing has made this the world's bestselling
Worcestershire sauce brand.
Twinberrow and Evans had neither the ambition,
nor were they as canny as Mr Lea and Mr Perrins,
so the lesson here is clear,
if you want your sauce to become the stuff of legends,
then you need to think big.
Over 340 miles from Worcester, I'm in the mayonnaise kitchen.
I've prepared my water mix and my starch mix,
and ten hours and 15 minutes since my eggs were collected,
their big moment has finally arrived.
-This is the egg.
-This is my eggs.
-Do you recognise it?
Are we ready now to add some ingredients to the eggs?
Yeah, we are. We are really ready to make the mayonnaise now.
And this is where we're going to mix it.
So, Gregg, in this tank, we started our process.
We add some water mix, some starches
and then start adding the oil.
It all happens in here.
We have a little window if you want to have a look.
That is really cool.
-It is, isn't it?
-You've got a little porthole with a light.
Exactly, you can actually follow the process.
This jumbo mixer will make enough mayonnaise
for 735 jars.
And with two yolks in each jar,
I'm looking at nearly 1,500 of them whizzing around in here.
It's quite wet.
It doesn't look much like mayonnaise yet.
I have a small experiment for you.
Is it safe?
Danielle's got a simple way it to replicate the process
going on inside the mixer.
So, here I have the ingredients for you.
Let's see if we can make a mayonnaise out of it.
Well, at home, I would start with the eggs.
Are you going to pour?
To my egg yolk, I had the water mix containing the salt,
mustard and spices.
I'm guessing now I add some starch?
In goes my starch mix.
Just pour it in and keep on mixing.
Now we have to add the oil bit by bit.
Yeah. We have to do it slowly.
Oil and water can only be combined
using a process called emulsification.
As the oil is added, whisking breaks it into tiny droplets.
This distributes it evenly through the mix.
The egg yolk stops it from separating
and thickens the mayonnaise.
Do you want to try a different method?
-Look over there.
-You're kidding me.
The final ingredient is vinegar,
added to bring out the acidity in the flavour.
-It's getting there.
It's quite tricky.
If I stop whisking, or add to much oil at once,
the emulsification won't work and the sauce will split,
creating an unpleasant, lumpy texture.
Can I see how the proper big batch is getting on?
Yeah, let's see how we do it here.
This clever mixer performs the emulsification process
perfectly, every time.
It's mixing this 480-kilo batch very effectively.
It's thickening up in here quicker than we did it over there.
With less work.
Any emulsification in a kitchen is a delicate business,
but this is doing it on a massive scale.
You've got mayonnaise!
All we need now is a big row of fish fingers
and two loaves of bread.
Less than ten and a half hours
after my eggs were collected,
I've got mayonnaise.
Next, I need something to put it in.
Cherry is sorting that out for me.
The glass jar, so familiar, so widely used,
we barely give it a second glance.
But how was it made?
The jars for Gregg's mayonnaise begin at this factory in Maastricht
in the Netherlands.
I'm meeting factory manager Ralph Klaassens...
-Nice to meet you.
..who's showing me the glass-making process.
The only thing I know about glass is it starts with sand.
Yes, and we use about 2,100 tonnes of sand per week.
The sand comes from a nearby quarry,
and has a low iron content...
Wow, there it goes.
..to ensure the finished glass will be totally colourless.
The jar's other main ingredient is glass itself.
That is quite a huge pile of recycled glass.
What is the percentage of recycled glass to sand?
56% recycled glass and 35% of sand.
-So, it is a huge amount of recycled glass.
The final 9% is soda ash, made from salt.
This lowers the melting point of the glass and sand,
reducing the amount of energy needed for the production process.
These ingredients are sent inside to the giant furnace.
Oh, my God.
In here, the raw materials are combined.
After 24 hours at 1,400 Celsius,
they melt together
and turn into molten glass,
250 tonnes of it.
Next, the molten glass is squeezed out of the furnace,
in gobs at a scorching 1,100 degrees.
Each one weighs 300g.
They drop down at nearly 20 miles an hour.
It's one of the most mesmerising processes I've ever seen.
The glass fills the mould.
They flip over,
through 180 degrees,
then air is forced in at high pressure,
producing a jar in under six seconds.
The bottom is still burning bright orange.
-Does it then get cooled?
Yes, we have cooling under the conveyor belt
so the bottom is cooled.
It's like something out of a science fiction film.
How many jars do you make?
We are producing about 260,000 jars a day.
Does this jar get used only for mayonnaise
-or is it lots of different things?
-No, it's only for mayonnaise.
To me, they look shiny and unblemished,
but they're not finished yet.
A protective coating is applied.
It's extraordinary to think that something so pure,
clear and fragile
is a result of such a huge industrial process.
Gregg, I hope you appreciate this jar.
In the factory's filling area,
the jars have arrived and are ready for action.
Hans Hendriksen is the man in charge of this whole site.
OK! Well, my friend Cherry had a hand in doing these.
I heard so, yes.
In a world of plastic squeezy,
why are you sticking with glass?
Actually, the glass is really our premium package.
Consumers like the traditional look and feel of glass,
which is why 45% of the mayonnaise
produced in the factory
ends up in jars.
But, like the eggs I started with, they need careful handling.
And this machine is pushing all of them off?
Pushing on the whole layer in one.
If you look at it now, you can see right now
the whole layer is being pushed on.
I'm amazed you haven't got jars smashing.
I can tell you that it is very intricate.
The pressure that you need to push it off gently,
it's a trick.
There are soapsuds on this conveyor belt.
-What is the soapsuds?
-So, it's like lubricant.
It's as simple as that.
-We're turning all of this metal into an ice rink for glass.
-There you go.
-Right, come on, let's put some mayonnaise in them!
-Let's do it!
Before they're filled, the jars are cleaned with a jet of air...
..before gliding onto the filling machine.
Which loads 250 of them with mayo every minute.
At last, mayonnaise in a jar!
That's what it is.
Each jar is filled with precisely 680g
of freshly prepared mayonnaise.
So, it's filling the jar very gently.
It's critical because we want to keep the product nice and smooth.
There's something quite beautiful about that.
-So, now we're ready to put the caps on?
And that's actually what's happening inside this machine.
You cannot look in here, but the principle is as follows.
A jar comes in like this,
the cap is waiting,
and it sort of grabs the cap
and it's pulling it close.
Just before the cap is actually totally put on,
we put a little puff of hot steam in there.
When the hot steam cools, it sucks in the button of the lid,
creating a firm airtight seal.
And that is why, when I open the jar, I get that... HE MAKES POPPING SOUND
There you go.
The labels go on...
..before one final check.
A sensor scans the button on each cap.
Most jars pass the test, but those with faulty caps
So, if it's firm and doesn't move, the seal is perfect?
-If it's got a bit of a bounce, it rejects it.
-That's it. We've got another one.
-Is that another bad one?
-There you go.
So, that's the mayo - all bottled
and ready to pop onto your burger,
or anything else you fancy.
But there are some sauces we only eat with certain foods.
Cherry went to check out the science behind those perfect pairings.
Hey, welcome to the Carvery.
What are you going to go for today?
I'm going to go for a bit of all three, please.
What's your favourite meat?
-Ham. And what's the sauce that you'd put with it?
Lamb with mint sauce is, like, my favourite.
-Is that the one?
-That is the one.
It seems that we're pretty set in our ways
when it comes to pairing meat with sauces.
Lamb and mint, ham and mustard.
Pork and apple.
To find out, I've enlisted the help of Professor Barry Smith
from the University of London.
He's an expert in sensory perceptions and food.
So, Barry, why do we pair certain meats with certain sauces?
Well, there are three reasons, Cherry.
Historical, cultural and scientific.
I'm going to test you on this.
Barry, underneath cloche number one, we have...
..lamb and mint sauce.
There are historical reasons for this - it used to be the case that
people would keep their lambs a little bit long.
The fatty acids breakdown and give off rather bad odours,
kind of high note,
and that stinging high note could be covered up by mint.
That's really disgusting and very informative.
-Thank you, Barry.
Cloche number two.
Beef and horseradish.
Ooh, good combination.
We like that tanginess of horseradish,
spicy hotness with the strong flavour and the tang of the beef.
So, culturally, they have become the regular partners,
and we like putting them together,
and we think it's as natural as ice cream and apple pie.
Barry, so far, so good.
Under cloche number three, we have...
Not my favourite meat.
Turkey and cranberry.
Bland and dry. So, what do we do to deal with that?
Well, by having a cranberry sauce, we've got these very sour berries,
and what they'll do is,
they'll stimulate saliva flow, so you'll get
this rush of moisture and saliva into the mouth that will help you
masticate this otherwise quite dry turkey.
So, a little sauce summary.
With lamb and mint, it's a historical hangover.
With beef and horseradish,
it's cultural, and with turkey and cranberry,
it's scientific, it's to get that saliva production flowing.
So, there's always a reason for the pairing?
Always a reason.
You're either contrasting or masking
or augmenting the flavours.
But there's one meat that doesn't have a regular partner.
So, with all your expertise, Barry,
I'd like you to see whether you can find
the perfect sauce for chicken.
Are you able to do that?
Barry has chosen a creamy lemon sauce
that science suggests will be the perfect accompaniment for chicken.
Yeah, that's beautiful.
The light, citrus taste should complement
the meat's delicate flavour,
but will its subtle charms win out against two stronger,
more robust sauces?
We're putting it up against rich port gravy and mint sauce.
Barry expects lemon to come out on top.
But will our tasters agree?
Which of those sauces do you think goes best with the chicken?
Mint sauce goes with everything, so it's fine.
Barry's matchmaking skills may be in question.
-I do think the mint one tastes better.
-Quite like the mint.
Yeah, it's also very nice. I think I like the middle one best, though.
Probably the lemon-y one with much more lemon in it.
Much more lemon? OK.
It'd have to be the mint.
Flying in the face of science,
mint sauce is our clear winner.
So, Barry, I set you the task of finding the perfect sauce
to go with chicken. Could you do it?
We couldn't, actually, and that may be for a number of reasons.
Chicken's very versatile,
it will tolerate a lot of different sauces.
Despite Barry's best efforts,
chicken is still searching for its perfect saucy sidekick.
It's been less than 11 hours since my eggs were collected.
And now my mayonnaise is heading for distribution.
My jars have been placed into cases and loaded onto pallets.
They are transported around this huge site by 300 metres of
computer-controlled conveyors, which move more than 1 million bottles
and jars every day.
-Hey, how are you?
-I saw you at the start of the mayonnaise...
-..and here you are at the end.
-Still here, yeah.
-What is this?!
This is actually the start of our outbound process.
Here, we make sure that pallets are prepared fit for transport.
And that machine seems to be picking out that...
-What do you call it? Plastic...
-Plastic film, yeah.
It picks out the plastic film in one sheet,
-opens it up and puts it over like a pillow case.
The machine shrink wraps the plastic sheet tightly around the pallet.
This holds the delicate jars firmly in place.
Why has that sheet there got little holes in it?
That's to make sure that the warmth and the air can still evaporate
out after the pallet has been wrapped.
When they come here for distribution, they're still warm?
-That's got to be the fastest production and distribution I've ever seen.
It's literally one hour after production and, half an hour
from here, we ship it out already.
My mayonnaise has been mixed and packed.
Now it heads to the fully automated
2,000 square metre warehouse.
Wow. How many pallets in here? Do you know?
Yeah, it can range up to 2,500 pallets.
That's only at 1.5 days.
-2,500 pallets is only enough for 1.5 days?
-So, this machine is constantly moving pallets of sauces in and out?
-There it goes again.
Is that my mayonnaise ready to go?
That's your mayonnaise. We've produced that specific pallet today,
and we're also shipping it out today.
Well, we better get on with it, hadn't we?
Just over 11 hours since my eggs were collected,
they're now making their way out of the factory as jars of sauce.
That's my batch.
You know what? A chap knows his mayonnaise.
Every day, 150 trucks ship mayonnaise out of here.
With us Brits taking the crown for the keenest consumers.
People in the south-east get through the most,
but it also heads off to 39 different countries
around the world, from Malaysia to Panama.
I've enjoyed my trip here to the Netherlands.
I was blown away by the egg cracking machine.
I mean, that was incredible.
I was surprised they don't make mayonnaise the way that I make it
at home, and I was amazed by the fact that over half of everything
they produce in this factory is for us in the UK.
Take her away!
Next time, we're in Gloucestershire,
inside one of the largest soft drinks factories in Europe...
Technology that I've never seen before,
around a drink that I've known for years!
..where 3 million bottles of blackcurrant drinks
pour off the production line every week.
Do you go home smelling like a blackcurrant?
And Cherry discovers how drinks bottles start life as other bottles.
I thought it was water.
Gregg Wallace is in the Netherlands at one of the world's biggest sauce factories. Its annual output is a quarter of a million tonnes of condiments, and more than 50 per cent of this heads to the UK. Our passion for sauces sees us consume 40 million kilos of mayonnaise every year. Gregg follows its production from a farm near Arnhem, where 23,000 free range hens produce the eggs, to the factory, where he is wowed by an egg cracking machine that can separate the yolks and whites from 1,700 eggs a minute. In the mayonnaise factory 'kitchen' he discovers how the delicate process of combining oil and water - known as emulsification - is performed perfectly every time on huge 480 kilo batches.
Meanwhile, Cherry Healey is making the glass jars Gregg needs for his mayonnaise. She is at a vast factory in Maastricht, where a furnace holding 250 tonnes of molten glass has been running continuously for the last 11 years. Cherry is also on the trail of another of our favourite sauces - soy - not in Japan, but south Wales, where a factory churns out bottles and sachets of organic sauce to a 2,000-year-old recipe. And the secret of its taste? A special mould called Koji.
Historian Ruth Goodman discovers how Brits fell in love with mayonnaise. She traces it back to the introduction of the bottled sauce in the 1960s and samples a series of unusual mayonnaise dishes, including the 'frosted party loaf' - a glorified club sandwich covered in mayo and cream cheese. Ruth is also on the trail of Worcestershire sauce and investigates the traditional story of its origin, as told by Mr Lea and Mr Perrins.