Citrus 101

Packinghouse Tour

At Sunkist Growers, our process combines natural, environmentally-conscious wisdom with the benefits of technology.

 


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Sunkist® citrus is grown on over 300,000 acres of fertile soil in California and Arizona.


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When the citrus is ready to be picked, pickers use special clippers designed for the different citrus varieties. Each piece of fruit is hand picked then placed in a bag that hangs over the pickers shoulder.


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The fruit is then dumped into bins that will be transported to the packinghouse.


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Once the fruit reaches the packinghouse it is sent to the pre-grade area. Here the fruit is pre-washed and passed through the initial grading station.


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Computers carefully grade by color and blemish, then the conveyor carries the fruit to storage bins where they'll be held for packing.


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When the fruit is ready for packing the fruit is dumped out of the storage bins.


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The fruit is then rewashed, waxed and dried.


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It is then carried down the line where it is sized and stamped or stickered.


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Final grading before packing is the next step. The fruit is sorted by grade and carried down the line for packing.


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Fruit is packed several ways depending on customer needs. Cartons are the most common.


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If fruit is to be bagged it is either bagged by machine or by hand. The bagging machines automatically measure by counts or weight. The bags are then put into "master" cartons for shipment.


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The cartons are then carried to the accumulator area where they are put onto pallets. The automatic palletizer wraps the cartons tightly so they will not shift during transport.


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The pallets are transported to the pre-cooler where they are held for shipment.


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Once the truck arrives to transport the fruit, the truck is loaded and the fruit moves on to its final destination.

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