International Produce Training

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 […]

Continue reading about Plums- Hollow Cavities »

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 […]

Continue reading about Pears- Scald »

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 […]

Continue reading about Apples- Red Flesh »

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 […]

Continue reading about Cucumbers- 2016 Grade Standard »

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 […]

Continue reading about Pumpkins- Moldy Stems »

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 […]

Continue reading about Onion- New Root Growth »

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 […]

Continue reading about Cabbage- Poorly Trimmed »