The European leek growing season is nearing its end. This is when these vegetables begin to bolt. And that usually means they’re no longer marketable. As most people eat them between September and April, that often means a loss of income for the growers.
Now, there’s a way to store harvested leeks for well over a month. The leeks can then be sold until June to meet end-of-season demand. A French company has developed modules that allow farmers to keep their leeks in cold storage for as long as 45 days and more.
The Janny MT module allows leeks to be stored in a cold room at 0°C. These can be stored whole or in barrels. It has a mesh covering that’s made up of six selective membranes. These regulate oxygen and carbon dioxide respiration. “Creating a natural, controlled environment is conducive to longer storage,” says Pierre Blanchet, the company’s Project Manager for Northern Europe.
The challenge is to meet consumer expectations, he says. “These are limiting food waste, eating local and national production promotion.” This storage method does just that. It also guarantees producers a fair selling price. “They can hold onto their goods during production peaks while waiting for better market prices.”
“By avoiding waste and saving your products, you can extend your season. You can also create extra income by selling your product for out-of-season prices.” This storage method doesn’t affect the leeks quality either.
“The leeks don’t lose weight or flavor. And their texture is maintained,” adds Pierre. The leeks lose less than one percent of their weight after being stored for up to 45 days. They keep their color too.
Growers can use the Janny MT Storage Solution for more than 35 products. These include fruit, vegetables, and cut flowers. These range from apples and cherries to asparagus and turnips. They even include dry garlic, parsley, and peonies. It can be used in both conventional and organic products.