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 which ones would be fine.

I remember finding at least 20% of the peppers were slightly to almost full of water. The best resource I had at the time was the actual grower. He wasn’t that surprised when I showed him what I was finding. In fact he sort of shrugged off my discovery and stated there had been a lot of rain recently and the peppers were affected.

I looked to the US Standards for Sweet Peppers and could not find any reference to water or moisture being a defect. By USDA’s own inspection instructions I was not allowed to score the water-filled peppers as a defect. But I did tell the grower the peppers were in grade (made U.S. No. 1), but I would not be surprised if his customer wouldn’t be too happy to receive them.

Although this is not a common defect, one of our clients recently came upon these water-filled peppers. Do they make grade …… yes. Will they become a problem in storage…… most likely. Anytime you have moisture, or in this case a lot of moisture on or in the specimen, the odds of molds or bacteria evolving is high. Will decay develop on or within these peppers? The answer is, the odds of decay developing at a faster rate are very high. Should you reject these peppers if you see these in your warehouse? Reach out to your buyer or supplier, take pictures of what you see, and determine, by a percentage basis of how many peppers within the lot received have peppers with water inside. Since the USDA is not a factor in this decision, your rejection or acceptance will be dependent on your company specification or policy.

No Comments on “Sweet Peppers- Water Inside”

Leave a Comment