By Jack Mans
A new packaging system at Del Monte’s giant plant in Modesto, CA, FILLS AND SEALS 700 four-oz fruit cups/min and THEN STERILIZES them in two batch retorts. The setup includes a sophisticated tray system that transports the cups to and from the retorts.
Del Monte Food Company's plant in Modesto, CA, started life as a tomato processing facility, before being converted to fruit processing in 1999. It now processes fresh peaches, pears, apricots, grapes and cherries and also produces various combinations of Del Monte's branded finished products such as fruit cocktail, mixed fruit, diced and sliced peaches, Orchard Select, fruit cups, Fruit Chillers, pears and pineapple products in various container sizes and materials including metal cans, plastic cups and glass jars. The plant is housed on 84 acres, has 500,000 sq ft of production floor area and 1,000,000 sq ft of warehouse/shipping space, produces more than 30,000,000 finished cases/year and employs 1,800 people during the peak season.