Carrots

Carrots, a favorite of today's health-conscious consumer, has a colorful history of pleasing all kinds of appetites. It's believed carrots have Middle East origin, though they are now produced worldwide. They were first reported in this hemisphere in 1609, in the records of Virginia colonists. As the pioneers moved west, so did the cultivation and consumption of carrots. The bright color and delicate flavor of carrots, a member of the parsley family, gave a tasty contrast to the bland diets of earlier days, and are a staple on present day menus.

Carrots Carrots and Loader Carrots in canal Carrots entering plant Carrots being cleaned Carrot Inspection Carrots being cut Carrots being sorted Carrots cooling down Packing Carrots
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When carrots are harvested they are brought in by semi load and are put into a pile.  It is hard to tell they are carrots because they have a lot of dirt from the field on them.  They look a lot like sugar beets or potatoes initially.

A loader scoops the raw carrots and takes them over to a mass shoot which starts the cleaning process. As carrots flow down the shoot dirt starts coming off the carrots on their way to the wash canal.

Taken by water and gravity through a canal, the carrots are being cleaned on their way to the rock separator. 

After the rocks have been separated, water and gravity bring the carrots into our processing room.  This is where the fun begins.

Carrots are conveyed to a big cylinder style scrubbing machine which removes all remaining dirt and skin to prepare the carrots for cutting.

Before actually cutting the carrots workers carefully inspect the product for defects or carrots that need to be topped.  These products are topped, washed again, or discarded if not worthy for production.

The carrots are then taken to the cutters where motorized knives are employed to produce various cuts depending on the product specifications.

From the cutters carrots are moved to size grading machines.  These machines move product over sheets of metal with holes in them only allowing the right size cut to flow over the metal.  Carrots cut to small fall through and are used to create a different product thus maximizing productivity and minimizing waste. Carrots are then moved to a color sorter.  An electronic eye identifies product that do not meet the color grade and is discarded.

After carrots have passed through the color sorter, they go into a blancher, which is like a wash high temperature cooker used to cook and make pure for freezing.  Once this process has been completed the carrots are cooled by cold water. 

 

After product has been cooled it is systematically pumped into a hopper which releases a uniform stream of product into the freezer to be individually quick frozen (IQF).  After the freezing is done carrots are put into totes until product is ready to be packaged and shipped to our customers.