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Good morning.  I must admit that I am SO happy to be home.  :)  Just knowing the Husband and doggies are in the same building makes me happy.  It’s so corny, but I feel like a part of me is missing when I’m away from my family.  True love.

 

I am still quite sick, unfortunately.  It’s a pretty bad sinus/upper respiratory infection.  I had to call out of class tonight, even though we have a Anatomy test, because my community college has a zero-tolerance policy about showing up with a respiratory infection.  I don’t think it’s the swine flu H1N1, but its better to be safe than spread your germies around.

 

For breakfast, I had a bowl of banana oatmeal:

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My oatmeal contained:

 

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 sliced banana
  • Toppings:  flax, brown sugar, and blueberries

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At least I haven’t lost my appetite.  ;)

 

Last Day at POM Wonderful Recap

 

Yesterday was our last day of the POM Wonderful tour.  I spent the entire morning at the plant and drove straight to the airport, so I didn’t have a chance to blog.  Here’s the recap of our excursion!

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We toured the POM Wonderful offices, fruit packaging plant, juicing plant, and bottling plant.  It was a really interesting learning experience for me because I love learning how food/products is produced and packaged (nerd alert).  I have also been on tours of:

 

  • Several large-scale commercial breweries
  • An Audi factory
  • A Boeing factory

 

But I think the POM Wonderful tour was the most interesting one!

 

We donned sweet hardhats and hair nets before touring:

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First, we toured the area where the fresh fruit is brought in from that day’s harvest.  POM fruit is only harvested for 15 weeks out of the year.  They are stored in these large containers until they head to the sorting area.  The plant moves FAST – the fruit rarely waits more than a day or two.

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The fruit is loaded on a large conveyer belt, on which it travels inside the plant:

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After entering the plant, each fruit passes under a $1 million machine that takes TWENTY PHOTOGRAPHS of EACH piece of fruit.  In the blink of a camera lens, a computer quickly analyzes the fruit for factors such as color, scarring, and size; sorts the fruit; and sends it down this belt:

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The computer “knows” which fruit to POP off the conveyor belt into one of three chutes.  The chutes determine the fruits destiny as whole fruit, juice, or another POM Wonderful product.

 

The cameras can sort 350 fruits a MINUTE.  How crazy is that?  That’s 7,000 photographs of fruit in just one minute.  :)

 

The fruits that are destined to be sold as whole fruit are the washed, coated with a light fungicide to prevent the spread of disease or bugs, and shined with a minimal wax.  Then the fruits are packaged for retail sale.

 

The POM Wonderful plant also has a non-computerized, traditional sorting facility.  About 200 workers sort each fruit by hand in this building.

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If the fruits are destined to become POM Wonderful juice, they are transported to the juicing room.  We also toured this area and the bottling area, but cameras aren’t allowed in those rooms.

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Leftover POM fruit shells and other materials are sold to cattle farmers, who mix the fruit into the feed. 

 

How to Cut Open a Pomegranate

 

Here’s the official POM Wonderful technique for opening a POM fruit:

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Good to know, because I have about 4 fruits in my suitcase and I want to eat them ASAP!  Maybe all the antioxidants will make my sickness go away?

 

All in all, it was an excellent trip! Thank you, POM Wonderful! 

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Have a good morning!  See you in the afternoon.  :)

{ 56 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Sara October 22, 2009, 9:36 am

    That is so awesome! you must have had a WONDERFUL time! Thanks for sharing all your experiences!!

    Reply
  • Karla October 22, 2009, 9:44 am

    That whole process is so interesting. So sorry you are feeling bad! Hope you get to feeling better soon.

    Reply
  • Allie October 22, 2009, 9:47 am

    what a great time! i love learning how things are made too- automation fascinates me. thank you SO MUCH for the lesson on how to open and de-see a pomegranate. i was diong it completely wrong and making a huge mess!!

    Reply
  • Anne P October 22, 2009, 9:49 am

    Wow how cool!! I had no idea they could do computerized sorting like that. Computers really are amazing. It blows my mind. I want some pomegranates now! :)

    Reply
  • Stephanie October 22, 2009, 9:53 am

    Oh no, I hope you feel better! I need to try a pomegranate too – they’re on sale around here and now that I have instructions on how to chop this sucker open I think I just might do it :)

    Reply
  • Runeatrepeat October 22, 2009, 9:56 am

    Love the pom lesson :) Good to know so I don’t keep staining my shirts while trying to seed them.

    Reply
  • brandi October 22, 2009, 9:56 am

    The plant sounds cool, and I love that they give the unused parts to local farms.

    I hope you feel better!

    Reply
  • Erica October 22, 2009, 9:57 am

    Girl! You look gorgeous when you’re sick!! Hope you feel better fast. That oatmeal def looks like it has healing powers ;). The plant tour looks like a lot of fun. Glad you’re back with those you love

    Reply
  • Evan Thomas October 22, 2009, 9:57 am

    That factory tour looks awesome! Feel better soon

    Reply
  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat October 22, 2009, 9:59 am

    Oh no! I hope you feel better soon. I’m glad you are responsible and that your school has that policy. We’re really starting to crack down here at work too.

    That oatmeal looks yummy. Glad you enjoyed your trip to CA too :)

    Reply
  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 22, 2009, 10:02 am

    The entire process is amazing. Only 15 weeks? Wow.

    Reply
  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) October 22, 2009, 10:02 am

    sorry you are still sick but so happy you are home! I know the feeling, trust me!

    Reply
  • Tay October 22, 2009, 10:04 am

    I’m sorry you’re feeling sicky :-( Feel better!!

    Thanks for that tutorial – I’ve always been cutting open a Pomegranate a different way!

    Reply
  • Michelle October 22, 2009, 10:04 am

    garlic. tons of garlic.

    Reply
  • Nicci@NiftyEats October 22, 2009, 10:06 am

    Thanks Caitlin, now I know how to cut and eat a POM.

    Reply
  • Rose October 22, 2009, 10:09 am

    Glad you’re back safe and sound! Looks like an awesome trip.

    Reply
  • MelissaNibbles October 22, 2009, 10:09 am

    The sorting machines are amazing. I’ve always wondered how they’re able to do that. What happens to the unused poms?

    Reply
    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 10:27 am

      well, i dont think any really are unused. they are either sold as fruit, juiced, or used to extract the antioxidants called POMx, which they add to POM tea or coffee.

      Reply
  • Laura @ FindingAHealthyBalance...after a 100+ POUND weight loss! October 22, 2009, 10:12 am

    It is so nice to see exactly where a product comes from, thank you for all the pictures. I plan to buy some POM this weekend. =)

    Reply
  • Carolyn October 22, 2009, 10:13 am

    Thanks for the tips on how to easily get the arils out. Hope you feel better soon!

    Reply
  • Paige (Running Around Normal) October 22, 2009, 10:16 am

    Thanks for the demo! I almost picked up a box of poms at Sam’s last night (from POM Wonderful!) but didn’t because Iw asn’t sure how to eat them, haha.

    Reply
  • christie @ honoring health October 22, 2009, 10:19 am

    Feel better soon!

    Reply
  • Anne Marie@ New Weigh of Life October 22, 2009, 10:27 am

    Hope you feel better soon!

    Reply
  • Meg @ Be Fit Be Full October 22, 2009, 10:32 am

    Thanks so much for posting how to cut a pomegranate! I just bought one at the store yesterday and had no clue what to do with it :)

    Reply
  • Stacey October 22, 2009, 10:47 am

    I feel like part of me is missing when I’m away from my family too (aka boyfriend and dog, cat) :) Glad you are back home, but sorry you are sick! Get better soon!

    Reply
  • Ellen October 22, 2009, 10:49 am

    I’m sure you’ve mentioned it before, but what kind of oatmeal do you eat? I love oatmeal, but the kind I’ve been eating has too much sugar in it. I’d rather add bananas, etc like you do to give it extra flavor.

    (http://www.firednfabulous.blogspot.com/)

    Reply
    • Caitlin October 22, 2009, 10:50 am

      Just plain oatmeal from quaker. the pre-made kinds have all sorts of weird ingredients, and any sugar in the 100% oatmeal is naturally-occurring and not bad for you. I get the 5 minute-cook (not instant) kind.

      Reply
  • skinnyrunner October 22, 2009, 10:50 am

    the factory pics are so cool to see! who would have thought that each fruit gets photographed like a celebrity??

    Reply
  • Marisa (Trim The Fat) October 22, 2009, 11:03 am

    That was so interesting! It not only amazes me how these plant operations work, but, I’m always intrigued by the inventors of these machines that the factories use! How do they think of that??!!

    Thanks for the tutorial on cutting a pomegranate. I’ve always stunk at doing that.

    Feel better soon :)

    Reply
  • Angela (Oh She Glows) October 22, 2009, 11:09 am

    Sorry you are still feeling sick! I agree it is much better to not spread the germs around…it was a pet peeve of mine when ppl were coughing or sniffling next to me at work or class, lol.

    I never would have guessed that they take pictures of the fruit!!! So cool.

    Reply
  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers October 22, 2009, 11:10 am

    thanks for the post on how to cut a pomegranate. they’ve always intimidated me. hope you feel better soon!

    Reply
  • Diana October 22, 2009, 11:21 am

    That’s one yummy breakfast right there. :)
    And that’s super interesting about the computer that takes photos of the fruit. Had no idea that even existed. 7000 photos in one minute ahah wow.
    I’m glad you had a good time. And I hope you feel better now. :)

    Reply
  • JavaChick October 22, 2009, 11:50 am

    Pomegranates are so pretty.

    I just had to say that.

    Reply
  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion October 22, 2009, 11:50 am

    I hope you feel better!!! Being sick stinks! At least you now have the pups to cuddle with, cuddling with Oscar always makes me feel better!!!

    Thanks for the instructions for the pomegranate, I never did it like that, I bet it will be less messy!!!

    Reply
  • Lauren October 22, 2009, 12:01 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling under the weather! I loved pomegranates as a kid, but my mom rarely let me buy them, because she always said they would give me a cold. Apparently that’s a common superstition in her native country, where pomegranates are widely cultivated.

    I don’t know if that’s what happened to you, though, haha. If anything, the pomegranates will make you better :)

    Reply
  • Julie October 22, 2009, 12:01 pm

    I like the pictoral step-by-step giude on how to cut a pom. No matter how many times I read how to cut them, I just never get it. I’m such a visual learner.

    Reply
  • Emily Eats and Exercises October 22, 2009, 12:06 pm

    That factory is really cool – I love the sorting process with cameras.
    I can’t wait to go buy a pomegranate and try out that cutting technique.
    Feel better!

    Reply
  • Island Girl Eats October 22, 2009, 12:07 pm

    I loved the POM tour. That is so neat learning about the whole process. I think that I am going to have to buy a pomengranate this weekend! I want to see if I can cut it like shown in your pcitures!

    Reply
  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) October 22, 2009, 12:26 pm

    What a neat tour.. feel better!!

    Reply
  • Lee October 22, 2009, 12:28 pm

    Yay, I’m cutting the pomegranate correctly. I think this is the first time I’ve ever cut a fruit/veggie the way I’m supposed to. I normally prefer to think of my knife skills as “creative.”

    Reply
  • Tiffany October 22, 2009, 12:39 pm

    Lovin the step-by-step photos of cutting open a Pom! I have two that I haven’t eaten yet out of sheer fear of how to open them without staining the entire kitchen of the home I am looking after for the week! Thanks Catlin for always sharing such great things!

    Reply
  • Andee(Runtolive) October 22, 2009, 12:57 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial, I have never learned how to cut open a pomegranate before. Hope you feel better, I just got my flu shot today

    Reply
  • Teacherwoman October 22, 2009, 1:10 pm

    Sorry to hear you are sick. Hope you feel better soon.

    Reply
  • Cynthia (It All Changes) October 22, 2009, 1:20 pm

    Looks like a blast. I love tours of how stuff is made and I even watch them on TV. I’m with ya girl.

    Reply
  • Jenna October 22, 2009, 1:20 pm

    what a great time you had at POM! hope you feel better soon :)
    jenna

    Reply
  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama October 22, 2009, 1:25 pm

    Sad to hear you are sick, but your trip looked amazing! My husband picked up a POM last night and now I know the “correct” way to eat it!
    Healthy Eating
    Tasha

    Reply
  • Susan October 22, 2009, 7:47 pm

    Psst…I work in radio and we still call it “swine flu” in our newscasts. Screw being politically correct :P

    Thanks for the cutting tutorial! You have no idea how much hardship you just saved me!

    Reply
  • maria October 22, 2009, 8:57 pm

    So cool to see how that is made. :)

    Get to feeling better soon!

    Reply
  • Christy October 22, 2009, 9:44 pm

    what a super cool tour! i wanna go… i’m jealous!! :lol:

    Reply
  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) October 23, 2009, 7:02 am

    Thanks for posting the instructions on how to properly cut a pomegranate. Now I’ll no longer have shirts that look like they’re spackled in blood. (Things get messy when I deal with Beets and Pomegranates)

    Reply

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