THE IMPORTANCE OF APPLE QUALITY CONTROL & TESTING
There are more than 7,500 varieties of apples in existence throughout the world, and thousands of variations in terms of size, color, shape, and taste. Think about the difference between a Red Delicious apple and a Granny Smith, and you’ll begin to realize how much variation there can be! But all of these variations have one thing in common – the need for a consistent standard when it comes to quality control.
Apples can change in quality dramatically from the point they are being harvested from the trees in an orchard, to when they arrive on the supermarket shelves. Adding a consistent and foolproof way to measure quality control at the important points of the supply chain is a clear win for everyone, and helps prevent and reduce lengthy price renegotiations or waste that could have been avoided.
Although apples seem like a robust fruit, they actually require more pesticides than any other fruit, and it can be tough to grow certain types organically. This is because the seeds of an apple don’t naturally grow the same way as the fruit they came from. This is why a green apple’s seeds can grow into a tree of red apples, for example. In order to keep a specific crop going, growers need to cut off a branch from the original tree, and clone it by planting the branch itself!
COMMON APPLE DEFECTS
The following defects are the ones that are most likely to affect apple quality across the supply chain
During growth, apples can be bruised or damaged by branches, animals, or other fruit. After picking, apples can suffer from mechanical damage when being transported or stored. Some apples bruise easily and the bruise often doesn’t appear immediately.
There are many pests that can impact apple quality control, including aphids, moths, maggots, leafhoppers, leafrollers, borers, stink bugs, mites, and scabs. This is the reason why apples need a large amount of pesticide treatment.
Scarf skin and russet are two of the most common skin defects that impact the epidermis of an apple crop. These are usually caused by natural fluctuations in temperature, direct sunlight or freezing. This impairment to the structure of the apple peel can reduce its strength and therefore impact handling and post-harvest processing. Retailers often refuse fruit with these conditions, fearing that customers will think they are pesticide residue.
It doesn’t take much to cause bruising on an apple, and bruising directly impacts taste and quality. Bruising can happen pre- or post-harvest, and a bruised apple is more likely to cause the rest of the apples touching it to go soft, too.
Solar injury is tough to manage in many orchard environments and sunburn and scalding is one of the major causes of waste and renegotiation when it comes to apple quality control. Apples with sunburn damage have been shown to have higher flesh firmness and soluble solids content, as well as lower titratable acidity than the rest of the crop.
Watercore apples are safe to eat and actually result in a sweeter fruit than those without, but this can be off-putting to consumers and therefore retailers. It’s caused by sorbitol-rich liquid that collects between the cells of the fruit, making it look translucent.
COMMON ATTRIBUTES FOR APPLE QUALITY EVALUATION
The following internal and external apple attributes are commonly used for quality evaluation
THE FRESH APPLE QUALITY STANDARTS
OECD - International Standards
for Fruit and Vegetables
According to the OECD, there are three classes of apples - ‘Extra’, ‘I’ and ‘II’. Fruit is graded according to size, shape, color, and freedom from defects, blemishes and diseases.
The size is determined by the diameter of the equatorial section or by weight.
The details can be reached from the document below. As The Fresh Apple Dış Ticaret we follow these quality requirements to fill ful our customers needs on quality base.