How can I tube this paste?
January 18, 2005 7:28 PM   Subscribe

I want to take a food product with a paste-like consistancy and put it in a tube. Is there any way to do this from home, on a small to medium scale?

I'm looking for something like a "home tubing system", like a kit or something that comes with tubing and caps that you can fill and cut and close yourself (something like homemade toothpaste). Does anything like that exist? Or, failing that, does anyone know the cheapest/easiest way to get this done?
posted by puke & cry to Food & Drink (16 answers total)
How about Coghlan's Squeeze Tubes?
posted by Fat Guy at 7:51 PM on January 18, 2005

Hmm, think a little more "small business".
posted by puke & cry at 8:09 PM on January 18, 2005

If you are turning these squeeze-foods into a business, you need to be very careful about spoilage, leakage and introduction of bacteria. What are you thinking of 'tubing'?
posted by seawallrunner at 9:10 PM on January 18, 2005


I'm really curious....
posted by mudpuppie at 9:20 PM on January 18, 2005

They make empty paint tubes for artists who custom mix their colors from ground and pigment.

But yeah, food is a completely different matter. I'd imagine the entire process has to be carried out in a sterile environment to avoid all sorts of badness. Color me curious.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 9:23 PM on January 18, 2005

Having been sort of tangentially involved with the food business for a pretty long time, I can tell you that there are a lot of contract packers out there. Google them. They will make "Fat Guy" brand tomato sauce for you, for example. Just like contract brewers, provide them with a recipe, some art, and viola. I've seen tomato paste, anchovy paste, and wasabi in tubes...hmm, what could it be?
posted by fixedgear at 2:03 AM on January 19, 2005

Be VERY aware of the health issues. There are guidelines for home food preparation if you're selling the product, and your preparation area needs to be licensed. In this province, inspection of the area is mandatory before a license is issued.

Yum.. wasabi in tubes!
posted by reflecked at 4:38 AM on January 19, 2005

how about a cake decorating place, like Wilton or something? It should be similar to using frosting, no?
posted by amberglow at 6:16 AM on January 19, 2005

For thicker pastes, sausage skins will allow you to package/wrap your paste, but they're a one-hit solution. i.e. your users will have to use all the paste in each sausage in one go.

Personally though, I don't see what is wrong with jars. They look more "hand made", and have a handy surface on which to stick labels onto.
posted by seanyboy at 6:51 AM on January 19, 2005

I'll tell you what I'd like to see in a tube....HUMMUS!! It would be so nice to squirt a bunch of hummus on a pita instead of having to drag it throught those plastic bins hummus usually comes in.
posted by spicynuts at 7:26 AM on January 19, 2005

My guess slash idea : goat cheese. It's like cheese whiz, but for hipsters and/or yuppies. you squirt it into your tomato soups, onto crackers (while out and about in the city), or in the height of irony, directly into your mouth. Comes in plain and with herbs.
posted by zpousman at 8:35 AM on January 19, 2005

Ironic cheese? Hip cheese? You've never actually eaten feta, have you? There's no room for hip or irony in there, man, it's all cheese!

Some camping supply stores sell reusable food-grade tubes for, well, camping and picnicking and stuff. It's a open-ended polyethylene tube with a spout and cap, and a slotted key-thingy you close the open end with and twist up like one of those toothpaste tube squeezers.

Ah, here we go.

Hummus in a tube would be nice. Damnit, now I'm hungry for hummus and taboule sprinkled with crumbled feta. Damn the pita! No time! *squeezes assortment of tubes into mouth*
posted by loquacious at 9:09 AM on January 19, 2005

This post has more questions than answers, was this a survey?

Here are some small tube fillers

and here's an article on a few more.
posted by milovoo at 9:10 AM on January 19, 2005

Doh, I just realized that Coghlan's Squeeze tubes had already been linked. Elusive obvious, indeed.
posted by loquacious at 9:59 AM on January 19, 2005

To reiterate what reflected said, but with an American bias:

check your state's laws and regulations, because what you are permitted to do in a home kitchen varies from state to state.

"Some states bar the commercial sale of food prepared in a residential kitchen. Others distinguish between perishable and nonperishable food. Still other states allow food prepared in a home kitchen if gross sales are under a specified dollar amount. Some states distinguish between food that is sold retail and food that is sold wholesale."
posted by WestCoaster at 12:30 PM on January 19, 2005

Thanks for the answers, looks like I'll be looking into contracting the job out. As for the food I want tubed - I can't tell you, then it wouldn't be a secret. :)
posted by puke & cry at 12:51 PM on January 19, 2005

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