International Produce Training

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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Web-Based Courses Now Available

International Produce Training is proud to introduce web based course instruction on the inspection of fresh fruit and vegetables. A full slate of lessons are available to everyone.  These on-line courses are a great supplement to onsite training.  Many companies have reached out to us asking for this service, and now it is here. All […]

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Onions- Surface Mold

When you encounter onions with surface mold you’ll have to make a quick determination.  Is the mold a black mold, and you are finding it between the outer scales, or is the mold a white or light blue surface mold?  If you are finding black mold, it most likely is a defect, scored against the […]

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Determining Defect Percentages

We have received many questions over the years concerning how the USDA calculates their percentages of defects for produce packed in clamshells or bags, where the entire unit is sold to the consumer.  Many QA’s use an alternative method that conflicts with the USDA. The USDA’s procedure is as follows:  For products like grapes, berries, […]

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Pumpkins- Dirty

When receiving Pumpkins you should remember they are bought based upon grade standards, with U.S. No. 1 Grade being the most common grade. Pumpkins are harvested directly from the field, into bins and shipped to their destinations.  No grading lines or packing houses are used in the process.  Due to wet, rainy weather conditions you […]

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Apples- Insect Damage

Insect damage, affecting apples is pretty much straight forward.  There are specific scoring guidelines for “injury,” “damage,” and for “serious damage.”  All worm holes are scored as a free from defect, always score as a serious damage defect when found.  If insect stings are found, the following guideline is offered: 51.316 Injury. (h) Insects: (1) […]

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Table Grapes- Discolored Spots

This post is more of a general discussion, not just a defect specific to grapes.  What would you do if you found a defect, like pictured here, that you were certain progressed into decay?  In this case, these seedless grapes show numerous discolored spots.  You can clearly see the discolored spots are eventually becoming decayed […]

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Yellow Squash- Mosaic

Every now and then you come across an unusual defect.  These images of defective summer squash were sent to me asking for my opinion.   Even after all of the years I’ve been around produce, this one defect I’ve never seen before.  So what do you do?  My first suggestion would be to reference the […]

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