Peaches are processed into pie fill or other products such as slices and dices. Fruit are transferred into a hopper and then inspected for decay and superficial defects. Peaches are next run over a sizer to grade out extremely large or small fruit. They are cut in half and pitted by machine. Pitted halves are lye peeled using caustic potash (potassium hydroxide) and sliced. Slices are combined with pie fill slurry or sugar syrup and processed in a cooker. Cans are then cooled, labeled, and cased as described earlier.
Tart cherries are processed in a slightly different fashion. After harvest and prior to processing, cherries are cooled in tanks filled with ice. Cooling cherries helps pit removal and improves yields. Cherries to be processed are inspected for stems, leaves, and other extraneous material. They are then pitted by machine. Pitted cherries are further inspected for loose pits either manually or electronically. Fruit are filled in cans combined with slurry or water depending on the product. Cans are sealed and processed in a cooker. Cooled cans are then labeled, cased, and palletized.
Pears, plums, and apricots are some of the other temperate fruit that are processed. In addition to the products described earlier, these fruit may also be processed into juice, concentrate, and purees or as frozen slices or dices based on availability and customer requirements.
Processing plays a key function in the usage of temperate fruit crops. Products such as sauce, slices, juice, pie fills, and purees are commonly produced. Current processing technology enables efficient utilization of the fruit and provides the customer with a choice of healthy, high-quality products.
Related Topics: FRUIT MATURITY; HARVEST; PACKING SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Downing, Donald L. (1989). Processed apple products. New York: VanNostrand. Processing Apple Growers Marketing Committee (2000). Apple crop statistics and marketing analysis. Michigan: Michigan Agric. Coop. Marketing Assoc., Inc. Rowles, Kristin L., Brian Henehan, and Gerald White (2001). New potential apple products: Think afresh about processing, An exploration of new market opportunities for apple products. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. U.S. Apple Association (2000). Apple crop outlook and marketing conference proceedings. McLean, VA: USAA.
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