International Produce Training

Broccoli- Light Green Color

There are a few commonly found defects you will find when inspecting broccoli; bruising, flowering bud clusters and yellow and discolored bud clusters.  Only one defect, flowering bud clusters has a USDA defined scoring guideline.  Flowering bud clusters is scored as a defect when more than 3 buds are obviously open.  The USDA does state that buds on the verge of opening are also scored as a defect.  If the buds are enlarged, on the verge of opening, up to 50% of the buds on the cluster being enlarged are allowed, before scoring as a defect.

But have you encountered light green broccoli?

This is sometimes found, and you may believe the light green color detracts from the appearance, but it is not to be scored as a defect.  In the above image you may find some yellow and discolored bud clusters (depicted with red arrows) mixed in the light green areas, and the yellow and discolored buds are scored as defects.  But if you only see the light green color, then you are not allowed to score this as a defect.

You may have heard the term “blonding” associated with this condition.  You may have heard a scoring guideline, allowing for up to 30% of the surface area before scoring this as a defect.  Unless your company has specs written to cover this light coloring, you should not score the light green areas as defects.

The USDA has created a visual aid (shown above) depicting light green, or what they call “whitish green areas” on broccoli.  But the visual aid clearly states to ignore this, and do not score light green as a defect.

4 Comments on “Broccoli- Light Green Color”

Wilson Says:

Great info as always… Thanks for all you do!!

Olga Arango Says:

Excellent information … thank you very much for your help.

Anthony Says:

I have found that light green broccoli tastes much better. I have difficulty finding it but I am always on the lookout for it at my local farmers market.

assf Says:

Pale, light, broccoli, especially when it is visibly pale from the under side, with just a bit of green on the sunward facing side is a sign of soil depletion. It means the corporate farm has over farmed the dirt and stripped the soil of it’s minerals. You will have to eat 3 to 4 times as much to get the same amount of nutrition. Hope those mountain of pills and supplements taste good.

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