Perhaps it’s no law of Medes and Persians, but we think it is important to stay as close as possible to nature when processing natural products such as berries. Our Canadian partner Fruit d’Or shares this view. This is why they freeze all their cranberries (their speciality) directly after the harvest. First the berries are carefully washed before they are very gradually frozen in large quantities.
Berries live, breathe, use oxygen. If that process is abruptly stopped by freezing, then small ice crystals form that leave the cell membranes and the cell walls of the fruit largely intact. However, that is not the intention – the white pulp of the fruit has to mix with the colourings, polyphenols, antioxidants and flavonoids that are present in and around the skin. If the berries are frozen gradually, the beneficial elements in the skin move slowly into the core of the berry.
The cranberries are harvested in the autumn and are kept in a dormant state until at least January. From that month on, the further processing of the cranberries into IQF, dried , puree, juice or any other form commences.
The frozen berries are carefully graded on size and colour using state-of-the-art laser equipment. Next, they are packed for IQF sale and are ready to be shipped.
For the production of dried cranberries, the berries are carefully thawed out. Once this has happened, a small amount of juice is extracted from the berries. This is done in order to start the infusion process and simultaneously create space, so the berry is better able to absorb the sweet component that is added in the subsequent infusion bath (such as natural apple juice concentrate or dissolved cane sugar). The sweet component also acts as a natural preservative. Once the berries have lapped this up, the actual drying process can start.
Fruit d’Or uses the whole berry, accepts colour variations and also that this method does not create entirely seedless cranberries. The seeds, after all, are rich in healthy Omega-3, so it should not be an objection. On the contrary, it is a well-considered choice. The end result of this method is a pure natural product – honest and flavoursome. All said and done, it is a somewhat longwinded process, but the quality of the end result makes it more than worth it.
Fruit d’Or does not make it easy for itself – it stays as close as possible to nature in its processing techniques. The thinking behind this is that professional connoisseurs and other enthusiasts will appreciate superior quality.