Modern tomato processing is carried out in large factories handling very high volumes of tomatoes.They typically operate 24 hours a day during the tomato season
Harvest: Generally, the whole field is mechanically harvested in one go, when the fruit are atoptimum ripeness. The harvester automatically separates out stems, leaves and greentomatoes
Delivery: Tomatoes are delivered to the processing facility as soon as possible, often withinhours of harvest. Tomatoes are graded for suitability and to determine payments-tested for colour, taste, mould level. disease etc.
orting and cleaning: Tomatoes are washed and any remaining roots, stems and leaves areemoved manually alongside tomatoes of substandard quality.
Pulp production: Tomatoes are crushed and heated to form a course pulp
Hot break/ cold break: The pulp is heated to one of two temperatures. Hot break takeslace at 98-100"c, denaturing enzymes that break down peptide chains and resulting inore viscous paste, but at some cost to flavour. Cold break processes happen at around60c leaving the enzymes functioning to break down peptide chains, meaning a less viscouspaste, but with slightly better flavour.
Finishing: The pulp is put through screens that remove skin, seeds and pulp.
Evaporation: The juice is thickened, generally using a vacuum evaporator
Packaging: The paste is sterilised and rapidly cooled, and packaged depending on final destination.
Facilities will often produce other tomato products in addition to paste, for example canned whole tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce or tomato juice.
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