Fresh Cut Fruit
Fresh Cut Fruit
Enzyme Peeling of Citrus
With advent of ready to eat fresh cut fruit salads a commercial process was required to prepare Oranges. Peeling and segmenting by the traditional manual method was too slow and produce a not so attractive finished product. The commercial process developed involves using an enzyme to penetrate the skin of the orange, loosed it from the pith and open up the fruit segments.
International Food Partners has particular expertise in this process and has worked closely with manufacturers of the industrial equipment.
The following is a brief summary of the industrial process.
Stage 1 Pricking the outer skin of the orange
Fig 1 - Oranges are rolled down an inclined conveyor belt underneath sets of pricker needles
Stage 2 Immersion of the oranges in a vacuum tank containing the enzyme solution. See Fig 2
The enzyme solution is prepared in an adjacent tank to the required concentration level and temperature. Fruit is manually filled into the vacuum tank and the vessel closed. The enzyme solution is pumped into the vacuum tank to immerse the fruit. The combination of the enzyme chemical reaction, the vacuum level and the temperature of the solution cause the skin of the fruit to be penetrated and loosened. After 3 vacuum cycles the skin has been sufficiently loosened to virtually fall off the orange. The enzyme solution is pumped back to the holding tank, ready for the next batch.
Fig 2 - The vacuum tank is opened and the fruit tipped onto a receiving table.
Stage 3 Removal of the loosened outer skin and cold shocking. As soon as the skin is removed the whole fruits are dipped into iced water to remove the heat of the enzyme treatment.
Stage 4 Segmenting
A final sorting and segmenting process is still required to remove the remains of the out skin and break apart the segments Figure 3 shows the fruit ready for final segmenting and rinsing.
A water jet is used to wash away the remaining pith and to help segment the fruit.
See Fig’s 5 and 6
The segmented fruit is returned to a bulk tray and placed in a sanitizing and cooling bath.
Fig 8 - The Orange segments ready for packing.