Production process includes the following 4 different stages :
Stage A΄ Packing in barrels with SO2 and staying for 40-60 days.
Stage B΄ Stem removal.
Stage C΄ Pitting.
Stage D΄ Preparation of dying solution ->cherry coloring process.
COVITA is exporting its products mainly to the most prominent industries all over the world. This market covers about 80% of its production. Balance of 20% is disposed to the local industry for the re-production of fruit cocktail.
COVITA operates 7-11 months per year processing cherries. Operation of the factory is divided in 1-3 shifts, depending on the availability of raw material. The industry can deal with 50 tons cherries daily.
Step 1: The preparation of the fruit. After pitting, de-stemming and grading the cherries are plunged into boiling water to increase the permeability of the pericarp (the flesh and skin layer). The cherries are then refreshed in cold water.
Step 2: The cherries are left to steep in a series of sucrose and glucose syrups, each more concentrated than the last, in order to gradually replace the water content of the fruit by sugar. The absorption of sugars needs to be regular, slow and steady to avoid the risk of crystallisation.
It takes about 10 days for a tray of fresh cherries to become glacé cherries It is this that gives Glacé Cherries their unique quality and taste.