International Produce Training

Sweet Peppers- Water Inside

A few years ago, while performing an inspection on peppers at the packing house, I encountered Sweet Peppers that were filled with water. To say that I was surprised is an understatement. Without even cutting the pepper you could feel the extra weight of the water inside, letting you know which peppers to cut and […]

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Company Specifications

More and more companies are choosing to create their own “Company Produce Buying Specifications” as a method to improve their quality of produce received, better than U.S. No.1 Grade. These fresh produce specs usually include changes to minimum sizes, uniform size, or increased tolerances for defects, including decay, The USDA has always provided, with their […]

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Asparagus- Purple Spot

Every now and then you will come across a defect you have never seen before. This defect on asparagus, although not really rare, it is a defect you will see but it may not be seen for years at a time. The defect shown here is called Purple Spot. There is no mention of this […]

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Oranges- Sooty Mold

At a recent training class we inspected oranges from Chile. When popping the lids everyone was surprised to see a black discoloration affecting the majority of the oranges within the carton. The defect we found is called Sooty Mold. This is caused by a fungus that adheres to excretions of the white fly and other […]

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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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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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