A. They may be marketed as “baby carrots,” but the ready-to-eat carrots that have single-handedly increased fresh-carrot consumption in recent years are really full-sized varieties, chosen for sweetness, color and a small core. Each carrot is mechanically cut and shaped into mini-size pieces. The rest of the cuttings are used for carrot matchsticks, juice and diced carrots in processed foods, such as soups. The peels and crowns are fed to cattle.
To keep carrots fresh, some companies process mini carrots at near-freezing water temperature.
The extra moisture may later take on a slippery texture and unpleasant odor, the result
of a harmless bacterial growth caused by warm temperatures during transport or storage. Often, simply rinsing the carrots will eliminate the problem. Be sure to check the sell-by date to ensure freshness.