Lifecycle of Florida Citrus Fruit Gifts
Do you ever wonder where those delicious Florida citrus fruit gifts come from? What is the journey of the oranges and grapefruits before they arrive on your doorstep? If so, follow along as we take a walk along the pathway that Florida’s tasty fruits follow before they can be sent as gifts.
Some orchards pick their fruit ahead of time and cold-store it to retard ripening so that when it arrives in the market it is just beginning to ripen. However, this method allows some of the nutritional value of the fruit to escape because time is an enemy when it comes to nutrients. Flavor is also sacrificed with cold storage. However, often fruit travels from orchard to distributor, and then to the seller, which is why, it needs to be cold-stored.
Fresh From The Tree
Hale Groves believes that fresh citrus fruit means fruit right from the tree. Therefore, the grove manager keeps an eagle eye out on the groves, with an awareness of which fruit is ready for picking. When orders arrive, the manager uses a refractometer to determine the sugar level in the citrus fruit. Additionally, a pressure sensor indicates the best time of the day to pick. With these scientific methods, grapefruits and oranges are picked at the peak moment to arrive fresh when shipped. The citrus is picked after the order arrives in house with the goal of sending the freshest fruit possible to customers.
Hale Groves only sends the best crop for gifts. Once picked the fruit is graded for quality. If it doesn’t pass the grade, it is not used. After it is graded, it is washed, and then graded again for size. Any fruit that doesn’t measure up is put aside. Overall, the fruit goes through six types of grading before being considered to be high-quality enough to match the standards required for Hale Groves’ citrus gifts.
Once the fruit has been determined to be excellent quality, it is carefully packed in a special tray that keeps the fruit from moving during shipment. Each tray has a lip to help keep the fruit in place as well. Then the tray is placed inside an extra-sturdy cardboard box, with added foam padding placed over the top of the trays. Once closed, the box is strapped closed, as stapling could damage the fruit inside. Every bit of care is taken to ensure a perfect box of fruit upon open.
The well-packed citrus fruit is then sent on a commercial truck for shipment. The trucks are temperature controlled to keep the fruit at peak flavor and freshness. Each truck has a thermostat to keep the temperature set at 45 degrees during shipment, which allows the fruit to reach your door within a few days after harvesting. Each piece of Florida citrus fruit arrives in perfect condition at peak ripeness, juicy and flavorful. It is almost like you have picked it yourself!