Cooking and vacuum-packing
We in the Loiret have a “business sector” approach. There are close links between beetroot producers and processing companies, to ensure that consumers will get high quality produce, total traceability and unimpeachable food safety. From the field to your plate, the entire sector is fully committed to bringing you the best of red beets.
These are the main stages in cooking and vacuum-packing:
- The producer brings his beetroots directly to the processing company in farming dumpsters.
- At the plant’s entrance, the beets are carried on a conveyor belt and through water, in order to remove soil, stones and any plant residue.
- Then the beets are calibrated (sorted by size). Beets that are too small or too large are removed.
- They are scalded in steam for a few minutes, and are peeled using scrubbing brushes.
- The beets are then cooked in steam for 35 to 40 minutes at 115°C, or else directly in water for 45 to 60 minutes at 95°C.
- Depending on the plant, they may then be immersed in vinegar, and possibly flavoured (raspberry or walnut vinegar) for about fifteen minutes.
- The beets are then ready for packaging: they are passed through a multihead weigher which assembles them into 500g bags (4 to 6 beets per bag) or 250g bags (1 single beet). They may also be diced instead of being packed whole.
- The beets are vacuum-packed.
- The bags are sterilised in an autoclave at 115°C for 40 to 60 minutes. The sterilisation process allows for a 6-month shelf life at room temperature.
- The bags are ready to be shipped to the various points of sale.
- Quality control checks are performed at every production stage.