Apples are processed into a variety of products, but by far the largest volume of processed apple products is in the form of juice.
Apples are brought to the processing building and dumped by the truckload or out the apple bins.
Fruit are then spray washed and sorted. Depending on process logistics, clean, sorted fruit may be stored. Sorting and trimming of apples to remove damaged or decayed fruit is mandatory. If not removed, damaged or decayed fruit may also impart off flavors to the finished products.
Before pressing, whole apples are ground into a mash or pulp for extraction. This mashing process sis accomplished with either disintegrator, hammer, or grating mill.
The type of extraction equipment may dictate the chopping method to achieve highest efficiency. More common types of presses apply pressure via hydraulic, pneumatic, screw, basket or travelling belt methods.
In traditional milling-pressing operations, the yields are 70-80% w/w and even lower (about 65%) for stored apples. However, through use of enzyme liquefaction and membrane filtration, the apple juice yields can be as high as 98%.
For the ‘natural’ look associated with fresh apple cider, the ground apple is treated with ascorbic acid before pressing to minimize browning.
Apple juice is processed and sold in many forms. Fresh apple juice or sweet cider is considered to be product of sound, ripe fruit that has been pressed and bottled or packaged with no form of preservation being used, other than refrigeration.
Processing of apple juice