Good Fruit Grower

May 15

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32 MAY 15, 2015 GOOD FRUIT GROWER O regon's distinction of having two of the nation's largest maraschino cherry producers is no coinci- dence. An Oregon State University food scientist developed a brining method in the late 1920s that led to modern cherry processing. OSU's Ernest Wiegand's discovery of adding calcium salts to the preserv- ing brine, which reduced cracking and resulted in firmer fruit, is credited with helping Oregon's cherry industry find a use for surplus fruit and turn fresh cher- ries into a host of value-added products and ingredients. Portland-based Gray & Company and Oregon Cherry Growers are said to pro- duce about 65 percent of all maraschino cherries in the United States. Last year, Oregon Cherry Growers processed more than 27 million pounds of cherries. About half of the cherries went into maraschi- no-type cherries and 30 percent were made into ingredient products. Though today's brining solution used Brining key to CHERRY Brine solution makes cherry processing a year-round operation. by Melissa Hansen processing

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