International Produce Training

Apples- Red Flesh

You have read numerous posts on this site stating that many unclassified defects should be simply described, as to their color, the size and if there is depth associated with the defect.  But occasionally questions surface as to whether an anomaly found is a defect or not. Upon cutting apples you may encounter some with having a red […]

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Cucumbers- 2016 Grade Standard

Before this past month the fresh produce industry has been following the U.S. Grade Standards for Cucumbers that were created in 1958.  Its time has come to update this grade standard to reflect the current practices used by cucumber growers and shippers.  The USDA updated the grade standard, which can be found here. If you buy, sell, or inspect […]

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Pumpkins- Moldy Stems

A QC Inspector recently found mold affecting their pumpkin stems, when arriving into their DC.  Upon checking the U.S. Grade Standards for Winter Squash and Pumpkins, and the USDA’s Inspection Instructions I was not able to find any reference to moldy pumpkin stems. For pumpkins only,  soft rot or soft mushy type decay affecting the […]

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Onion- New Root Growth

In a previous post I explained how visible sprouts are scored when seen on onions.  But what is the scoring guideline for new roots, growing from the base or root end of an onion? The scoring guideline when inspecting northern and southern onions is the same.  From the U.S. Grade Standard, score as a defect […]

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Cabbage- Poorly Trimmed

I would bet if I asked 20 random USDA inspectors if they knew the scoring guidelines and tolerances for cabbage being poorly trimmed I would receive 20 different answers.  Excessive wrapper leaves on cabbage is rarely an issue, except of course when it arrives in your warehouse. Taking a look at this savoy cabbage, the receiver […]

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Corn- Well Developed

There are two defects of corn that have to do with development.  The first, being fairly well filled.  A requirement of the U.S. Fancy and U.S. No. 1 Grades,“Fairly well filled” means that the rows of kernels show fairly uniform development, and that the appearance and quality of the edible portion of the ear are not […]

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Peaches- Split Pit

A very common defect you may come across while inspecting peaches is split pit.  You may notice an opening around the stem, a slightly misshapen peach, or when you cut the peach lengthwise your knife easily slides through the center of a peach. This peach was cut crosswise and the inspector noticed the split pit.  […]

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Peaches- Shape

When inspecting peaches and nectarines it really helps if you have some experience dealing with the different varieties.  The shape will vary from variety to variety and even the same variety grown in different regions of the country may look different.  Unfortunately most of us have very little experience when it comes to peach varieties. […]

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Cabbage- Thrip Injury

In some cases, while cabbage is growing in the field, they sometimes come under assault from thrips.  Specifically the onion thrip insect is the primary culprit.  They will seek shelter underneath the cabbage leaves, and begin their feeding. As reported by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, thrips are small, slender and fast-moving. The adults are approximately […]

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Blackberries- Red Cell

Red Cell is the name given to the red color sometimes seen on Blackberries.  This falls into the category of being somewhat controversial. To be honest, I have seen this reddish color on blackberries for years and never scored this as a defect.  I never had seen another USDA inspector score this as a defect either.  […]

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