Carrots are known for their strong and intense flavor. Unprocessed carrots have a tough, fibrous texture that is challenging to process into other products. So, what is a carrot processing?
Several ways of processing carrots make them easier to use. The methods of carrot processing include peeling, cutting, grating, shredding, and juicing.
Each process makes the carrots easier to eat and digest while preserving their most nutritious properties. Let’s look closer at what each technique can do for the humble carrot…
How is a carrot processed?
The first step of carrot processing after harvesting is cleaning. This step is usual in all vegetables processing, because is done in order to remove dirt and debris from the carrots.
Depending on the type of cleaning process used, the carrots can be damaged and lose some of their nutritional value.
Once the carrots are clean, they can be peeled, cut, grated, shredded, or juiced. Each process makes the carrots easier to eat and digest while preserving their most nutritious properties.
Carrot Processing – How do you clean carrots after harvest?
You can do carrot cleaning in different ways. Depending on the cleaning method, it can either damage the product or not affect it.
Some of the ways you can clean carrots include the following:
High-pressure water: water sprays can be used to clean harvested carrots. This method uses water jets to remove dirt from the carrots. It does not damage the product and is thus used by many food processing companies.
Brushing: is done with a soft brush that removes dirt and loose fibrous materials. Brushing method is often used in the food industry.
Spin-dyer machine: this simple and reliable method uses a wheel spinning at the high speed, filled with water inside. The walls of this wheel are covered with carborundum material. It cleans the harvested carrots without damaging them.
Carrot processing plant
A carrot processing plant is where carrots are collected, cleaned, processed according to what product they will become, and packaged.
There are more than 10,000 carrot processing plants worldwide. This includes more than 1,500 in the United States alone.
Carrot processing plants are primarily located in China and India. These countries with tropical climates have the right conditions for growing carrots. Carrots are also produced in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States.
Carrot processing plants and factories use various equipment and machinery to process carrots from the field to the finished product.
These industrial carrots producers use specialized equipment that helps to monitor and improve efficiency, reduce costs and improve product quality.
A typical carrot processing plant performs the following processes:
- dehydrating (optional)
- juicing (optional)
Carrot processing plant equipment can include:
- packaging machines for carrots
These pieces of equipment are used for the purpose of processing carrots. Additionally, these machines are required to meet the standards of quality.
Carrot processing plant equipment and machinery are used to process carrots to make different products. As you see, these products are made by using different methods and equipment.
The type of processing plant and machinery used in each plant depends on the method of processing the carrots and the final product to be produced.
Carrot processed products
Carrots are root vegetables and are rich in beta-carotene. They are a great source of Vitamin A and can be grown in most climates.
Carrots are usually eaten raw or cooked, but you can also juice them.
Juice, baby food, and carrot cookies are the most common carrot products. But you can use carrots to make:
- pickled carrots
- dehydrate carrots
- candied carrots
Carrots can be sweetened or cooked to be made into jam, made into a pie, or even roasted with some honey and cinnamon.
As mentioned before, you can use carrots to make baby food as they are packed with nutrients and, if processed correctly, very soft, easily digestible, and even naturally sweet.
If edible products are not enough for you, you can even use carrots grated into a paste and used as a face and body scrub.
Are baby carrots processed?
Baby carrots are not processed. They are simply carrots that are smaller in size. Carrot growers cut the carrots into smaller pieces (baby carrots) so customers can easily eat them.
So, baby carrots are not a different type of carrot. They are simply regular carrots that were chopped into small pieces.
Finally, keep in mind that a baby carrot can also be a carrot harvested before reaching maturity and sold at that smaller size.
Carrot juice processing
As with all fruits and vegetables, carrot juice is produced by pressing the carrots to extract their juice.
It is then filtered to remove any pulp and impurities. Carrot juice is commonly mixed with other juices and served as a beverage. You can also add carrot juice to other foods to add flavor, color, and nutrients.
In general, carrots juice is often consumed as a healthy drink. It is widely used in the food and beverage industry as well as in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries.
Carrot juice is used for its beneficial properties for the skin, as a source of Vitamin A, and as a natural sweetener.
These properties make carrot juice an important commodity in the food and beverage industry.
The manufacturing process of carrot juice is similar to that of conventional vegetables. It involves:
– cutting of the raw material
– the carrots are then shredded or diced before being put through a grinder to make the juice
– after making the juice, it is often pasteurized to kill any bacteria
– the final product is packed in suitable containers for delivery to customers.
How do you dehydrate carrots?
Dehydrating carrots is a process in which the water and other liquids in carrots are almost entirely removed.
This is done by heating the carrots in special dehydrators. These dehydrators may vary from household to industrial capacity.
You can use dehydrated carrots in a variety of different products, including juices, soups, and baby food. They are also used in livestock feed.
Dehydrating carrots must be done at an appropriate temperature to prevent the product from burning.
As mentioned above, dehydration is a process of removing water from carrots to increase their shelf life and make them more suitable for storage and transportation purposes.
The dehydration process of carrots is carried out at a temperature between 40-45°C (104-113°F) for about 10 – 14 hours in a drier or an oven.
However, we will always recommend using a dehydrator instead of an oven. It is impossible to control dehydration temperature in an oven so accurately as in a dehydrator.
Once the desired level of dehydration is achieved, the carrots should be packed and stored in a cool and dry place. You can also freeze the dehydrated carrots to increase their shelf life.
Dehydrated carrots, in the form of powder, are widely used in the food and beverage industry for making health and wellness products like juices, smoothies, and powdered drinks.
Dehydrating carrots is straightforward; however, keeping them in the dark, well-ventilated place is recommended to ensure maximum shelf life.
Carrot powder production
Carrot powder is produced by grinding already dehydrated carrots. As described above, the carrots are dried in a dehydrator or an oven.
Once dried, the carrots are ground into powder. Carrot powder is used in many different products, including baby food, soups, and sauces.
You can also use it as a coloring agent in food products such as ice cream, yogurt, and baked goods.
How are carrots packaged?
Carrots can be packaged either fresh or dried. The packaging method depends on the product and how it is processed.
Freshly harvested carrots can be packaged in plastic bags or bins, cardboard boxes, or wooden crates. They can also be stored in containers and left in low-temperature storage until they are needed.
Dehydrated carrots can be packaged in plastic bags or jars. They are then put in cardboard boxes to protect them from damage during transportation.
Carrots are simple to grow and process. Probably because of that they are one of the most popular vegetables in the world. They are cultivated in many countries and prepared in numerous ways.
Carrot processing is needed to make the carrots easier to eat, digest, and use as an ingredient in many dishes.
Carrots are also rich in many different vitamins and minerals. These make them an excellent choice for a healthy diet.