Cherry Handling Process

2024-01-02 | Project Case

1. Harvesting:

  • Harvesting Time: The critical factor influencing the quality of cherries is the timing of harvesting. Typically, cherries should be picked when fully ripe. The assessment of ripeness can be based on indicators such as color, size, fruit plumpness, and skin elasticity.

  • Harvesting Method: Cherries are handpicked to avoid damage to the fruit. Harvesters should wear gloves and carefully cut the cherries, preventing bruising or cutting.

  • Avoid Contamination: After harvesting, cherries should be promptly placed in breathable containers or baskets to prevent squeezing and mixing.

2. Pre-cooling:

  • Purpose of Pre-cooling: The aim of pre-cooling is to rapidly reduce the temperature of cherries, slowing down fruit metabolism and ripening while delaying the decay process. Common pre-cooling methods include water immersion, cold air circulation, and vacuum pre-cooling.

  • Water Immersion: Cherries are immersed in low-temperature water, rapidly reducing fruit temperature through heat conduction.

  • Cold Air Circulation: Utilizes cold air to carry away heat from the fruit's surface, achieved through fans and low-temperature air.

  • Vacuum Pre-cooling: Takes advantage of the evaporation of water in a vacuum environment to lower fruit temperature.

  • After pre-cooling, cherries should reach the appropriate storage temperature, typically between 0°C to 4°C.

3. Refrigeration:

  • Purpose of Refrigeration: Refrigeration is crucial for preserving the freshness of cherries post-harvest. Store the pre-cooled cherries in a refrigerated room or cold storage, ensuring a suitable temperature and moderate humidity.

  • Storage Temperature: Cherries are ideally stored at temperatures between 0°C to 4°C. Lower temperatures help slow down metabolism, extending the shelf life of the fruit.

  • Proper Ventilation: Maintain adequate ventilation in the cold storage to prevent the accumulation of water on the surface of the fruit, reducing the likelihood of bacterial growth.

  • Packaging: Cherries during refrigeration should be appropriately packaged to prevent moisture and damage to the fruit.

In summary, by employing rapid pre-cooling following harvesting and practicing sound refrigeration management, cherries can be preserved at optimal freshness and flavor for an extended period.

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