The production of candied fruits for your pastries, ice creams or confectionery products implies a previous hard work in our plantations in Épila (Aragón). We already told you how natural pollination with bumblebees was carried out. Today we are going to reveal how we live the harvest in our double role of fruit growers and manufacturers of candied fruits…
The calendar of fruit crops
Several months along the year are spent in the fruit crop intended to the production of candied fruits in Lazaya’s facilities. The cherry harvest takes place in June; then, in August, the pear is picked up and so the apple and the peach in September. Finally, orange harvest is collected in December. We produce most of these fruits in our plantations in Épila (Aragón) in order to control the entire process of the production of candied fruits.
The blossom of cherry trees, a key moment for the crop
A warm spring is essential for the cherry harvest. Natural pollination only takes place if the end of the winter gives way to sunny days with no rain.
The problem comes when it rains and this process stops. In the worst case, one or several strong hailstorms may fall just when the trees are in flower. April, the month in which the flowering takes place, is the key moment for the cherry harvest and, therefore, for the production of candied fruits, generally speaking.
Seasonal works preceding the harvest: fruit thinning
There are some other seasonal works that precede the crop, when the fruits start emerging from the trees. We are refering here to some tasks such as the peach thinning, which involves tearing off the peaches placed at the end of the branch to strengthen those that are a foot from the end. That is the way we get the best quality and size for our production of candied fruits and preserved fruit in Lazaya: carefully controlling all stages of the production from our plantations to our facilities.
How the degree of ripeness is measured
The fruit is hand-picked at a given degree of ripeness measured when the fruit is still hanging on the tree. It must still be green in order to retain some features (shape…) when being candied. To determine the correct degree of ripeness of some fruits, such as apples and pears, we use an special measurement tool to prick the fruit for testing sugar levels and ripeness.
How long the fruit crop lasts
Cherries are picked in the first half of June, although it can be delayed for up to two weeks. Then it lasts about 3 or 4 weeks. During this time, several people are temporarily hired to collect the fruit. The pear harvest takes two weeks, while the orange harvest extends up to two months.
Transport to the factory and fruit preservation
Once collected in ‘palots’ (fruit boxes made of wood or plastic), fruit is loaded on to a truck and delivered in the same day to Lazaya’s facilities, covering a distance of no more than 50 km from the plantations in Épila. When the trucks arrive at the factory and unload the fruit, another stage of the production of candied fruits starts: plastic containers filling up with the preservation mix are ready to receive the freshly picked fruit.
When needed, the fruit will be cut later, after being in the containers for some time. This is the production of candied fruits Lazaya will sell all over the world the following year.
The production of candied fruits is our reason for being
The production of candied fruits and other types of preserved fruit has been the family business for seventy years. We are the third generation of the family dedicated to this work, and we feel very connected both to the factory and to the fruit production in Lazaya’s plantations in Aragon. Therefore, we can proudly say that we know everything about the production of candied fruits and preserved fruit. Do you feel you need to talk to experts…? We listen to you and can adapt our production to your needs or those of your sector. Contact us, contact Lazaya.