Polish Onions and Poland Onion Processing

I. Onion Production in Poland
1.1 Onion Production
Onion('cebula' in polish)was consumed in Poland since the 14th century. It is one of the common vegetables cultivated in Poland. Currently the cultivation acreage is around 25 thousand hectares. Poland is the third onion manufacturer in the EU behind Holland and Spain. In 2015, the onion production in Poland amounted to 0.632 million tonnes. However, onion yields in Poland are among the lowest in the European Union, with the average at about 21 t·ha-1 during 2000-2011, compared to the EU average at 29.1 t·ha-1. In addition, the yield is highly variable. In 2015 the yield is 24.9 t·ha-1, lower than the previous years.
Onion production in Poland is concentrated in the central part. Most are grown in the provinces of Wielkopolska, Kujawy-Pomerania, Lower Silesia, Mazovia, Lubuskie and Lublin. The dominant cultivation method, especially for storage and export, is the cultivation of spring sowing. The harvest is in August or September. Bacterial diseases cause serious problems in cultivation of onion in Poland. These diseases may cause significant economic losses because they are difficult to control.
1.2 Onion Varieties

Onion Varieties in Poland

Common onion is the most popular species in Poland, which has many different varieties here. Other species are also cultivated, such as: potato onion, welsh onion, shallot, and top onion. In Poland, it is possible to buy onions of strong, medium-strong or mild taste with white, yellow or red skin.
1.2.1 Yellow Onion
The most popular variety is yellow, which has a yellow-white color of the rind and the pulp. The variety is with an intense taste, suitable for many dishes including salads, sauces, meats, fish, fried and stewed dishes, as well as batters.
1.2.2 White Onion
White onion is smaller than yellow and has more delicate taste. It is usually eaten raw, as an additive to salad dressings, sauces, etc. It can also be marinated.
1.2.3 Red Onion
Red onion is dark-skinned with white-purple flesh, and the taste is sweet. Like white onions it is also eaten raw, and is a great addition to all kinds of salads.

II. Onion Market in Poland

Polish Onions

2.1 Onion Culture
Onion is a symbol of Polish culture. The Poles laugh at themselves as the onion people. They sarcastically call their currency (polish zloty, PLN) - the onion zloty so the PLN would be translated as 'cebulion'. Some strange or non standard behaviors are also named as onionish.
2.2 Onion Consumption
Onion is a popular addition to the Polish kitchen. It is hard to imagine Polish food without onions. Onion throughout the season does not lose its valuable properties. It does not lose its health properties even after heat treatment. The healthiest onion is eaten raw, and can also be cooked in soup, fried in oil, marinated, caramelized or dried. It is added to salads, meats, soups, casseroles, sauces, sandwiches and virtually anything you want to give specific spicy and onion flavor.
The most typical Polish Easter egg is ‘painted’ with onion peels. Put onion peels into a pot with water, put in the eggs and boil it for about 15-30 minutes. After that, leave the eggs in that onion water for at least a few hours. The result is brown eggs.
2.3 Onion Export
The overwhelming part of onion produced in Poland is designed to supply the domestic market, meanwhile it is also very important export commodity. Onions grown in Poland have for many years been known in the European market under the trade name of Polish Onions. In recent years the export was smaller than in the first years after the accession to the EU. In 2014, the exports of Polish onions were 125 thousand tonnes, comparing to 179 thousand tonnes in 2004. The main destination countries were the UK, Ukraine and Holland.

III. Onion Processing in Poland
3.1 Onion Peeling
The growing demands of customers call for onion producers to provide the market with onion peeled. Peeling can add value to the onions. In most households engaged in onion cultivation peeling is done by hand by family members or hired workers. One person can peel 200-300 kg of onions throughout an eight-hour working day. Businesses pay 25 cents per kilogram on the poorest population.
With an onion peeling machine the onions can be peeled fastly without damage, saving the work of dozens of people. As onions are known to induce tears, with a machine the pains of workers can be relieved.
3.2 Onion Frying
Fried onion is a mandatory part of many Polish dishes. It is a crispy and tasty addition to fried meat, fish, potatoes, hot dogs, sandwiches, hamburgers, casseroles, salads, etc. Ruskie pierogi, with potato + cheese + fried onion filling, are well-known in many regions of Poland.
Fried onion can be homemade in the following way:
Peel and chop the onions, sprinkle with flour and mix thoroughly. In a saucepan fry the onions in hot oil over a medium flame until golden brown. Remove and drain off excessive oil on a paper towel. Place into a bowl and season with salt.

crispy fried onions of Poland

Fried onion can be industrially made by the following machines:
1). Onion root cutting machine
2). Onion peeling machine
3). Onion cutting machine( dicer or slicer)
4). Bubble washing machine
5). Air dehydration machine
6). Onion frying machine
7). Fried onion deoiling machine
8). Seasoning machine
9). Automatic fried onion packing machine
3.3 Frozen Onion
There are also many manufacturers producing IQF(Individual Quick Freezing) onion in Poland. The onions are peeled, cut into the required dices or slices and frozen with instant freezer prior to packing.

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