International Produce Training

Category Archives: Defect Identification

Plums- Hollow Cavities

I am sure you have seen hollow heart in watermelons and potatoes.  My guess is hollow cavities found in plums is caused by the same growing condition, a sudden growth spurt brought on by heavy rains, heat or excessive fertilizer. This causes the fruit to grow rapidly, faster than the internal flesh, resulting in hollow […]

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Pears- Scald

A rail car of Bartlett pears was recently inspected and the pears were found to be in the firm ripe to ripe stage of firmness, with greenish yellow to yellow color.  But the major defect found was a high percentage of scald. The USDA Inspection states the following:  “It first appears as a brown to black […]

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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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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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