Apricots

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The grades for apricots are Canada No. 1, Canada Domestic and Canada Domestic Hailed.

Canada No. 1 grade requires apricots to be uniformly mature, clean and of good size.

Uniformly Mature: Means that apricots at shipping point or at the time of repacking are within a package, of one of the following maturities: Firm, Firm Ripe, Ripe. Variation in maturity at destination is permissible providing the fruit is not green or soft.

Clean: Means that the fruit is free from spray residue or dirt that is readily apparent; contrasting with the background color.

Good Size: Means that not less than 90% of the apricots are of a size characteristic of the variety when mature and that variation in size is not sufficient to materially detract from the general appearance of the lot. A size characteristic of the variety when mature may be interpreted at shipping point as 1 1/2 inches. Inspectors are reminded that this minimum size is only a guide and should not be applied during destination inspections. Size may be reported at destination at the specific request of the applicant but inspectors should check with their supervisors before proceeding.

Canada Domestic and Canada Domestic Hailed

  • Grades require the fruit be mature, fairly clean and of fair size.

Mature: Means that apricots in a package may be Firm, Firm Ripe or Ripe.

Fairly Clean: Means that the apricots in a package are free from readily apparent spray residue or dirt exceeding 1/4 inch in the aggregate area.

Fair Size: Means that not less than 65% of the apricots are of a size characteristic of the variety when mature and that variation in size is not sufficient to seriously detract from the general appearance of the lot.

A size characteristic: May be interpreted at shipping point as 1 1/2 inches, however, inspectors are again reminded that this minimum size is only a guide and should not be applied during destination inspections. Canada grades require that apricots be fairly well formed.

Fairly Well Formed: Means that the shape of the apricots may be slightly irregular from its characteristic shape, however not to the extent that its appearance is materially affected. Apricots must be mature.

Maturity: The appearance for minimum acceptable maturity varies with each variety. If apricots are picked in an immature state (deep green) they may change color from the dead green but will become a rubbery-type product that is undesirable for fresh consumption. Some varieties are picked at what is termed salad maturity which is one step more advanced than deep green.

This maturity of apricot is usually held in high humidity storage at 1 to 2 °C for 8 to 10 weeks and are canned with peaches and pears for Fruit Salad.

Maturities of Common Varieties

Riland

Firm: Minimum of 90% break, 10% green allowed generally along the suture.

Firm Ripe: Yellow, Ideal maturity for storage is a pale yellow.

Ripe: Generally an orange color and is inclined to have a short shelf life.

This variety has a reddish blush, which is not a factor in determining maturity. Ground color and firmness are the reliable guides.

Wenatchee Moorpark

Firm: Minimum of 5% break to yellow tinge generally on the nose, no deep green anywhere on the fruit.

Firm Ripe: 25 to 90% break to yellow tinge.

Ripe: 100% yellow tinge - has short shelf life.

If this variety is picked with deep green on part of the fruit, the yellow area generally becomes soft before green portion is edible. This variety is also susceptible to bruising on the nose but if handled carefully will store and ship well at firm or firm ripe maturities.

Kaleden

Firm: Minimum of 50% yellow.

Firm Ripe: 50 to 80% yellow.

Ripe: 100% yellow.

Reliable: Perfection

Firm: Minimum 100% yellow.

Firm Ripe: 100% light orange.

Ripe: full orange color.

These varieties are good keepers and will remain firm for a considerable time after 100% yellow.

Blenheim

Firm: 90% pale yellow with up to 10% light green allowed generally along crease.

Firm Ripe: 100% pale yellow, no green.

Ripe: 100% yellow.

Tilton - Royal

Firm: 90% pale yellow with up to 10% light green allowed generally along crease.

Firm Ripe: 100% pale yellow, no green.

Ripe: 100% yellow.

These varieties remain firm some time after achieving 100% yellow color. Tilton, Royal and Blenheim are popular varieties for processing whereas Reliable and Perfection are usually picked at an advanced maturity for making apricot nectar.

Free From Defects

Canada No. 1 and Canada Domestic grades must be free from insects, insect larva and skin punctures and free from damage.

Insect Injury: Insect Injury is considered a defect if not thoroughly dry. (For example, worn holes mostly near the stem end.) Dry, slightly concave and generally lightly russetted bites usually attributed to grasshoppers are permitted but must not exceed 1/4 inch in aggregate area and not over 1/8 inch in depth for both grades.

Growth Cracks: Generally affect the Riland variety. In both grades score if exceeding 1/4 inch in aggregate area or 1/2 inch in aggregate length. Normally growth cracks cannot be considered well healed if over 1/2 inch in length.

Skin Checks: Usually attributed to high sprinkler or rain.

Canada No. 1

  • Must be well healed, not to exceed 1/8 inch in depth or 1/4 inch in aggregate area (this could allow 1/2 to 3/4 inches in hairline or 2 or 3 short hairline cracks 1/4 inch long). Score any not well healed skin check. Hairline checks should not be discolored.

Canada Domestic

  • Affected area must be well healed and not to exceed 1/4 inch in aggregate area or 3/4 inch in length for individual hairline checks and not discolored. Over 3/4 inch in length, the width is nearly certain to be too great to be well healed and would admit infection.

Hail Injury

Canada No. 1

  • Russet type hail not to exceed 1/4 inch in aggregate area; skin not to be broken but up to four well healed nicks (1/8 inch) are allowed as they would not exceed the 1/4 inch in aggregate area.
  • Depressed type hail not noticeably depressed or discolored. Not to exceed 1/4 inch in aggregate area.

Canada Domestic

  • Skin not to be broken. Russet type nicks not to exceed 3/4 inch in aggregate area. Not noticeably depressed or seriously discolored.

Canada Hailed

  • Not to exceed one inch in the aggregate area. Individual marks not to exceed 3/8 inch in diameter of 1/8 inch in depth.

Sunscald: Generally dark in color or shows cracking of the skin making it vulnerable to secondary infection.

Canada No. 1 and Canada Domestic

  • Score any sunscald which contrasts with the background color of the apricot and affects the appearance. Limb Rub, Leaf Mark, Spray Burn, Scab, Ink Spot, Physiological Spot

Canada No. 1

  • Not to exceed 1/2 inch in aggregate area.

Canada Domestic

  • Not to exceed 3/4 inch in aggregate area. Free from in all grades when rough.

Skin Broken or Torn: Skin broken or torn at the stem; mostly affects Riland variety.

Canada No. 1 and Canada Domestic

  • If the thin outer layer is torn, it is not considered a defect as the area forms a second dry skin quickly and seldom deteriorates. If the flesh is exposed by the skin tear, the apricot is a cull. (The surface of the tear is jagged where the inner flesh is torn from the fruit.)
  • If the injury extends beyond the stem bowl, the apricot is also a cull in all grades.

Coryneum Blight: A fungus infection. This disease is characterized by small, purplish-red, raised circular spots usually distinct from one another and tend to be most numerous on the upper side of the apricot toward the stem end. A light colored area develops in the centre and the margins may become dark red to brown. Later the spots may become slightly sunken, small cracks may develop and gumming may occur.

Canada No. 1

  • Not to exceed 1/4 inch in aggregate area.

Canada Domestic

  • Not to exceed 1/2 inch in aggregate area.

Powdery Mildew: White fungus patches appear on the immature apricot, turning to a tan color as the fruit matures. In severe infections the color may turn to a dark brown and the skin may crack.

Canada No. 1

  • Not to exceed 1/2 inch in aggregate area.

Canada Domestic

  • Not to exceed 3/4 inch in aggregate area.

Dark Mildew: Free from in all grades.

Bruises: Bruises which are soft and/or discolored.

Canada No. 1 and Canada Domestic

  • Not to exceed 1/2 inch in aggregate area.
  • Firm flattening of the fruit in a carton is to be ignored.

Scuffing at Destination and Brown: Discoloration, score when in sharp contrast to background color of the apricot.

Canada No. 1

  • Not to exceed 1/2 inch in aggregate area.

Canada Domestic

  • Not to exceed 3/4 inch in aggregate area.

Soft Watery Areas: Tissues must be translucent and easy to smash. The extent of the affected areas should be described

Example: mostly affecting half of the fruit.

General Tolerances

  1. 3% of the apricots by count may be affected by decay. (Any amount of an individual specimen will be scored. Soft, leaking specimens or those affected by mould, but not including powdery mildew as described previously, will be scored against decay.)
  2. 5% of the apricots by count may have the same grade defect.
  3. 10% of the apricots by count may have grade defects of any kind including those in (a) and (b)

Inspection of apricots for processing are done on a weight basis as they are orchard run and not sized.

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