Our Tomato Process
Each year in April, when the threat of frost has passed, we begin the process of growing our Carmelina ‘e…San Marzano® Italian Tomatoes…
PLANTING THE SEEDS
Tomato seeds are planted in hot houses where they are nurtured, kept safe from the threat of frost, and are able to thrive and grow. In early May, when the weather of Southern Italy has warmed, mature tomato seedlings are transplanted to growing fields. During the next few months, Carmelina ‘e…San Marzano Italian tomatoes begin to develop their renowned elongated shape, sweet flavor, and deep red color which cannot be duplicated in any other region of the world.
VINE RIPENED TO PERFECTION
In late July, the harvest begins and extends through September. The tomatoes are vine ripened to maturity and not harvested until they display an even and consistent red color, without a loss of firmness.
The tomatoes are harvested both by hand and mechanically, depending on the grower and size of the growing area. As the fruit is gathered, it’s graded, sorted, and loaded on trucks bound for our production facilities.
FIELD TO FACTORY
The tomatoes are transported from field to production facility within a few short hours, ensuring the freshest product. At the factory, the fresh tomatoes are unloaded and washed, removing any field debris.
SORTING AND PNEUMATIC STEAM PEELING
After washing, our tomatoes go through a second sort. Here they are reviewed by personnel and machine for consistency in size, redness, and shape. The tomatoes are then peeled using an ecologically sound process that scalds the fruit with pressurized steam. No chemicals, like lye, are ever used in the production of our products. Whole peeled tomatoes will head down the production line, ready for preserving, while other tomatoes, will be chopped, crushed, or pureed and strained.
PASTEURIZATION W/OUT PRESERVATIVES
After sorting and peeling, our silky red tomatoes head to the fill station, where they are packed in a cushion of their own succulent puree. Product is then sealed in containers and moved through sterilization machines where they are pasteurized.
This slow cook process insures the quality of the product, locking in the flavor and freshness of the fruit. We never add citric acid, calcium chloride, or any other additives or preservatives to our products.
After pasteurization, the tomatoes undergo a natural incubation period. In this stage, preserved product is left to finish and gently cool. Natural pectin is released and formed around the fruit during this finishing stage. Antioxidants in tomato pectin, like lycopene, are linked to protecting against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes and heart disease.
Quality testing is an ongoing process. Carmelina products are evaluated for pH, Brix, Bostwick, nitrate levels, and of course, flavor. This attention to detail is how we assure our customers that Carmelina 'e… San Marzano Italian tomatoes offer the cleanest ingredient statement on shelf in the category.