All of our leeks are firm and smooth, free of blemishes, and have characteristic white stems with dark green leaves. The cut bottoms are flat, as rounded bottoms may indicate prolonged storage and cut at the appropriate length. We pack and wash them in our packing shed to reduce dirt damage and assure a clean product.
Leeks are pre-cooled in our hydro cooler. After being washed and packed in a carton or RPC box, the product is topped off with crushed ice. This helps maintain optimum temperature conditions for extending its post-harvest life. Leeks are trimmed so that only a 30.5 cm (12 in) portion of the green top remains. Upon client request, leeks can be bunched in groups of 3 (depending on diameter), and placed in polyethylene film bags to prevent moisture loss.
Leeks can be stored for 2 to 3 months at °C (3°F), with 95 to 100% RH. High RH is essential to prevent wilting. Good refrigeration retards elongation and curvature that develops in leeks at 10 to 2°C (50 to 7°F). Leeks held in polyethylene lined crates remain saleable for 5 to 6 weeks at °C (32°F), and under crushed ice: 4 weeks at °C.
Leeks are an excellent source of vitamin K. They offer a good source of vitamins A (carotenoids), B6, C and E, along with folate, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, dietary fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.