Picking is generally carried out from August 15 to September 15, at this time the plum reaches the maturity necessary to obtain a good prune.
It reaches this maximum maturity once it has fallen from the tree, we must then check with a refractometer (which allows us to measure the sugar level of the plum), and check that the plum reaches 35 Brix degrees.
We then decide when to pick them up to get the best possible plum in terms of taste and sugar.
Once the plums are picked, we have less than 24 hours to pass them in a water bath to remove all leaves, branches and any other physical stain and sort them to remove all the rotten, split, crushed plums and then put them flat in racks.
The racks are then put in the ovens for 16 hours at 72°C. The prunes that come out are half-cooked (between 30% and 35% humidity for a half-cooked prune).
he semi-cooked prune paloxes are then weighed and their quality is checked (30% water, no mould, etc).
Once the controls have been carried out, they are calibrated (the number of prunes per 500gr is counted) and then classified:
- Large: 77/66 prunes per 500gr
- Very large: 55/44 prunes for 500gr
- Giant : 44/33 prunes for 500gr
- Maxi-giant :33/28 prunes for 500gr
Calibration is carried out on a vibrating conveyor belt, with the smaller ones falling first and then following. The half-cooked prunes are then stored according to their size in cold rooms before being bagged and pasteurized for a half-cooked prune.
The prunes are packed in various bags: 375g, 500g and 1Kg. We thus offer you to have a varied choice on the quantity of prunes you wish.
Pasteurization is the most important point for the semi-cooked prune, it is a critical point to absolutely succeed for the good conservation of the product without preservatives.
It is carried out for about 30 minutes at 80°C.
The final pasteurization sanitizes the prunes by destroying the majority of the common flora and ensures the total destruction of the potentially pathogenic flora.
Pouches are then checked to see if there have been any failures in the pouch (holes, tears in the pouch, etc).
The pasteurized bags, once cooled, are labeled, passed through a metal detector, weighed again and then put into cartons.
A final visual check is made on the bags and then on the cartons. On the packaging, the following indications are imposed on the packaging:
- the name of the product
- size and moisture content
- the address of the producer's farm
- the net weight
- the expiration date of optimal use (about 1 year)
- the AB logo and the IGP logo
All these indications are present on the label of our products. Now you know how we make our semi-cooked organic Agen prunes! Find our organic prunes here !