We've come a long way from our days of being spread out in multiple buildings throughout Pittsburgh's Strip District. Today 'The Freshness Professionals' all work under one roof and it's a picture of modern produce technology.
Climate Controlled Warehouse
Through the long hot, parched days of summer, or the frigid wind swept Pittsburgh winters, Consumers Produce stands out as the place for the best, and longest lasting, produce. When it's five degrees and the snow is drifting, or it's 90-degrees outside and the humidity is high, the benefits of a totally temperature-controlled 100-thousand square foot warehouse are at their peak.
'The Freshness Professionals' take pride in never letting their products break the cold chain. That keeps the produce fresher longer and allows the customers of Consumers Produce to realize the highest return on each dollar.
But the climate-controlled capabilities of our 21st Street home go beyond just maintaining the cold chain. There are optimum temperatures for produce and they vary as widely as the variety of selection that we offer. Banana's needs are different from oranges, strawberry's temperature tolerances don't match tomato's, and in our spacious warehouse we can meet all their needs with individually climate-controlled coolers.
Maintaining the proper temperature is critical to controlling the ripening process and extending the shelf life of produce. At Consumers Produce our ability to extend shelf life allows our customers to experience less product loss and the best return on their dollar.
Ultra-Modern Banana Rooms
In the heart of Consumers Produce's newest addition they stand like sentinels watching over the operation. Eight towering garage doors three stories high! They are the front doors to a modern world of banana ripening that are high-tech to the max. The THERMAL TECHnologies TarpLess Ripening rooms are so big they can hold parallel stacks of bananas three pallets high and seven deep, 42 pallets per room!
Capacity is only part of the story. With their trademark computer controlled THERMAL TECH design, the rooms sophisticated humidification system and unbelievable air circulation provide incredible ripening accuracy. Consumers Produce President Alan Siger says, "The amazing thing is you can put two loads in each room, one load on the right side and one on the left side. The ripening room is so high tech that you can keep the temperatures on the two sides four and a half degrees different because the air circulation is so strong. That means we can ripen one load to be ready on Monday and the other load for Tuesday or Wednesday."
That flexibility also gives The Freshness Professionals the ability to deliver bananas to our customers in exactly the stage of ripening ordered. Whether it's just breaking in color or ready to eat yellow, the bananas coming from Consumers Produce these days have a nice shine, hold their weight better and don't dehydrate. The result: higher quality longer lasting bananas.
Tomato Sorting - More Than Meets the Eye
To the naked eye they all appear that same shade of half-green half-red so common to tomatoes just off the vine. But under the photoelectric eye of Consumers Produce's tomato sorting equipment those same tomatoes are separated into eight different color variations.
It wasn't that long ago it would take three people better than an hour to hand sort and separate a pallet of tomatoes. Today our tomato sorting machines allows us to sort ten pallets an hour and can provide you with the exact color and quantities you need faster than ever before. All without losing the hands on expertise of 'The Freshness Professionals'.
As the tomatoes slide from their boxes onto the tomato sorting machine they are hand inspected by our experienced staff and the less desirable fruit removed. Then it's onto a series of conveyor belts that gently carry the tomatoes through a cleansing bath before having their color checked by the photoelectric eye. From the cameras eye they pass into weighing trays that separate them into four sizes. Between colors and sizes that means up to thirty-two different variations for separation. Finally they are hand checked again by our staff as they are carefully packed in boxes or sent on to our repacking line.
It truly is an amazing process to watch and with 'The Freshness Professionals' at the beginning and end of the line our commitment to quality has never been higher.
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