The harvest of citruses is the most important part of all the cultivation process of these precious fruits. There are two different techniques to do it. The first one is to take the fruit off the tree with a torsion, the second cutting the fruit off with dedicated scissors. In both cases, after the citrus fruit has been taken off, the part of the peduncle to which they were tied to must be cut off with scissors to allow the growth of the new fruits.
After the manual harvest, the citrus fruits are put in dedicated boxes and covered in their own leaves. They are delivered just this way for distribution and export market.
In the past the ripening and the harvest of citrus fruits were typical of winter, while nowadays the varieties of citrus fruits turned so many that they offer seasonal products all the year round.
The harvesting phase of citrus fruit is not only limited to the gathering of fruit. The post-harvest process is as important as removing the citrus fruit from the tree, which serves to maintain the high quality standards of the fruit.
Once harvested, these fruits are transported to a sorting center that is usually very close to the area where they grew, and undergo a natural treatment to preserve their freshness until they reach consumers. Subsequently, the fruit is placed in boxes of 20 to 300 kg, and the selection process begins. This is a very delicate time for citrus fruit, as skilled eyes and hands check every single fruit to determine its quality.
Only perfect fruit passes quality control, to continue on to the washing phase. The fruit is immersed in large vats of drinking water and washed in order to eliminate any residues of leaves and branches. After washing, the citrus fruit is individually brushed in a very delicate manner so as to eliminate all traces of impurities.