Great Lakes Packing processes sweet, tart and brine cherries in northern Michigan.

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Northern Michigan cherry processing.

What we do: The process of processing cherries

 

Cherry processing step 1:
Arrival at Great Lakes Packing Company

Raw product starts at the fabulous cherry farms along Lake Michigan ’s shoreline. There's a small window of opportunity - in early summer - when the cherries are fully-ripe and best for harvest. Farmers collect most of the fruit mechanically and transport it in chilled water to preserve its firm character.

Truckload after truckload, hydro-chilled at their respective farms, arrive at Great Lakes Packing Company's processing facilities.

These cherry fields provide Great Lakes Packing with sweet, tart and brine cherries.
 

The tart, sweet and brine cherry documentation process begins at Great Lakes Packing the moment the cherries arrive from the cherry farms and cherry fields.

Cherry processing step 2: Documentation of the cherries
Documentation that begins at the farm is expanded when the fresh cherries arrive at the processing facilities. Documentation includes the fruit’s origin, custody, quantity, and handling history. This critical documentation grows as it follows the cherries into finished product and onward to market through the warehouses and transportation system.

The raw cherry fruit is further chilled to help preserve freshness of flavor, appearance and nutrition. Sweet cherry varieties may be immediately preserved in an "SO2" solution for processing at a later time.
 

Cherry processing step 3: Cleaning and sorting
This is the step at which processing really kicks-in. Undesirable natural contents and unnatural contents - such as bruised fruit, torn fruit, stems, leaves, twigs, pits, sand and stones - are removed and recycled to the land.

Sweet cherry varieties preserved in SO2 are processed later, then "sized" and "pitted" for specialty markets. They may also be sliced.

Cherry processing step 4: Filling and labeling
The stream of prime cherry fruit that finally remains is packaged and labeled for immediate freezing, concentrating, drying - or for further manufacturing.

Even the lowly cherry pits are utilized - providing a renewable source of energy for heating, mostly in local markets.

This Great Lakes Packing Company team member is sorting cherries.   Cherry sorters sort both sweet and tart cherries for quality.
 

Northern Michigan cherry processing.

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Northern Michigan cherry processing.

Great Lakes Packing Company / 6556 Quarterline Road / Kewadin / Michigan / 49648
(231) 264-5561 / Fax: (231) 264-5594 / glpc@greatlakespacking.com

 

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