Ripe for the Picking
A conversation with Grower Relations Manager, Andy Schilperoort
The 2013 Milne Fruit Concord grape harvest has concluded and with a little help from Mother Nature combined with the expertise of the growers, the harvest was successful and robust. There are several factors that go into landing a good crop, so to learn more, we asked Andy Schilperoort, Milne’s Grower Relations Manager about the year.
Q. What were some of the contributing factors that led to a successful Concord grape harvest this year?
A. Milne had a great growing season with negligible spring frost damage, plenty of sunshine and heat units to mature the crop. We also had adequate water supply for irrigation, and excellent weather during harvest.
A. The Concord grape harvest is roughly a month long process that starts in late September and runs until the end of October. The Niagara grape harvest is much shorter and takes around four days to complete.
Q. Where did the harvest take place?
A. All of Milne’s grapes are located within a 60-mile radius of our processing plant in Prosser, WA.
Q. How does it compare to previous grape harvests?
A. The start date was comparable to years past, a crop yield of eight tons per acre and brix at 17.5°. The quality was very good as was the weather.
Q. What’s next for the harvested grapes?
A. Some will be converted to single strength juice, some to juice concentrate and some to concentrated puree.
Q. How long does that process take?
A. Converting grapes to juice or concentrate or puree is done the same day the grapes are harvested. Literally within six to 12 hours of the time the grapes are harvested from the vines.
Start the Presses! Milne Introduces New Vegetable Juice Varieties
Vegetable juices are becoming more and more popular as an ingredient in a variety of beverages, sauces and even some bakery items. To expand Milne’s high quality juice line into vegetables, Milne has introduced four new varieties including cucumber, pumpkin, purple cabbage and red beet.
These are unique and innovative products that are being introduced. For example, cucumber juice has become a popular ingredient in all-natural green juice products being marketed and sold at retail.
Milne’s vegetable juices are all clarified with the exception of pumpkin, which is cloudy. All exude great natural color and are extremely low in calories making for a healthy attribute to any food or beverage products.
Adding to their popularity, these are 100% all-natural juices and concentrates with no artificial color or preservatives and are vertically integrated – grown, processed and distributed here in the state of Washington.
“We understand the importance of traceability when it comes to knowing the origins of fruit and vegetable crops,” said Shannon Elkins, Director of Sales and Marketing. We saw new opportunities to have vertically integrated offerings with these vegetable products.
New MicroDried® Products: Tropicals and Cranberries
Milne Fruit Products is proud to announce the introduction of MicroDried tropicals with two of the most popular tropical fruits, pineapples and mangoes. The pineapples are available in tidbits, and the mangoes will be offered cubed. Both fruits will be available in low moisture (crunchy) and high moisture (chewy texture).
“Tropical fruits have been, and always will be, popular to consumers everywhere,” said Steve Nugent, Director of IQF and MicroDried Sales. “With popularity comes demand, and we believe our tropical ingredients will fit nicely into consumer products.”
Joining the debut of the two tropical fruits is the MicroDried cranberry. The cranberries will be available whole, fragmented with fines and fragmented without fines.
Additional MicroDried products currently in development include: apples (diced), banana (sliced), peaches (diced) and strawberries (sliced and fragmented).
With these new and pending MicroDried offerings, Milne continues to expand its market presence and stay on the forefront of innovation.
New One Pound Resealable Pack Size
Milne Fruit Products are introducing a new one-pound resealable pouch available in all MicroDried® fruit and vegetable varieties and whole fruit and vegetable powders with no minimum order quantity. For a more in-depth look at our unique product line, click here for information on products now available in this new convenient one-pound pack.
To order or for more information contact: Tami Howell, Sales Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org or 509.786.2127
Nampa Plant Certifications
Milne is proud to announce the Orthodox Union (OU), and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have recently certified Milne’s facility in Nampa, Idaho during their annual certification process.
The OU is the world’s largest and most widely recognized kosher certification agency and the BRC is aimed at working with food manufacturers in producing safe, quality products. The plant achieved an A-rating from the BRC.
The Nampa facility is also AIB Certified and Certified Organic by the State of Washington Department of Agriculture.
Congratulations to all at the Nampa facility for achieving these certifications!