Extraction is the process of converting fruits and vegetables into a puree or concentrate that is later on processed to obtain juices, creams, sauces, etc.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are first graded, of which the high quality ones are used for fresh selling, canning or dehydrating. Second class fruit and vegetables are processed into puree, cream, concentrates, juices, flavors powder, etc.
In Europe, 30% of fruit and vegetable production is then further processed into other products. In a lot of other countries and agricultural areas this is considered a waste product. Great quantities of mango are thrown away every year, when they could be processed into other products other than just fresh mango.
Each extraction line differs depending on the fruit or vegetable that needs to be processed.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are primarily washed, leaf cleaned and boned. From here onwards two different extraction technologies can be applied.
Traditional hot extraction technologies first deactivate the natural enzymes by a heat treatment which slows down the cell deterioration. This is followed by either a turbo pin, macerator, squeezer or press, which separates the puree from the peel and the seeds. Hot extraction technologies can compromise the taste, colour and flavor of the puree due to the pulp and seed contaminants passing into it, and also because the fruit is cooked for enzyme deactivation.
Cold extraction technologies are the latest application to extraction lines. Cold extraction process´ enhance the flavour and texture, and keep the natural qualities of the fresh products intact. Cold extraction processes the whole fruit at room temperatures: removing the stems, seeds and the peel. The resulting puree is then heated for a very short period of time to deactivate the enzymes. The extraction process precedes the enzyme deactivation as it allows for less contamination of pulp and seeds to pass over to the puree. The result is higher production yield, and higher puree quality. For example, when using cold technologies for extracting strawberry puree; the total yield came up to 96%.
A different extraction line is required for each type of fruit , and each case needs to be analyzed individually. For example; when it comes to mango puree, a previous treatment is required to prevent the pulp oil from passing into the puree.
An extracting line usually contains the following equipment:
- Fruit and vegetables washing machine - washer
- Sorting Machine
- Peeling Machines
- Inspection Belt Conveyor, manual or with visual technology
- Storing systems
- Slat Conveyer
- Extracting machines using cold or hot extracting technologies
- Enzymatic deactivation systems
- Aseptic filling for bag-in-box from 200 to 1000kg