Frozen Blueberries for Market

Picking For Frozen

As with picking for fresh-market, many things go into the decision for when and what to pick for our frozen-market.  Variety, customer needs, market demands and labor issues are just a few of the things that can work towards the decision of fresh vs. frozen.

Once the decision for picking a specific area for frozen-market is made, several other decisions have also been made.  First, we are now going to let those blueberries stay on the bushes a little longer, letting them really ripen.  This allows the berries to reach their most uniform coloring and their fullest flavor and sweetness.  We no longer worry about a few softer berries like we do in fresh-market fruit.  Once picked, the fruit will be packed and frozen before issues of soft fruit can effect the rest of the berries.

We can now pick these berries with our mechanical harvesters.  Although not as gentle as picking by hand can be, the difference will not make any impact to the final packed product that goes to the consumer.

Also, using water to clean the blueberries is no longer a problem.  Once we start packing for frozen, we pack and send our berries to the freezer daily, so shelf-life in the open air is no longer an issue.

One thing that is not any different between fresh-market and frozen-market blueberries is that we still observe the Cold-Chain when handling our berries.  Getting the berries into a cooling process as soon as possible is the goal for all blueberries here at the farm.  Keeping them cool through-out their stay with us is always one of our top priorities.  Until the fresh is shipped to market or the process is taken to the freezer, they both need to be kept cool.