Peaches

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The grades for peaches are Canada No. 1 and Canada Domestic.

Both grades for peaches require that they be uniformly mature, sound, handpicked, of one variety and sized.

Maturity

Mature: means that the peach is well developed and has attained sufficient yellow in the ground colour to indicate that it will continue to ripen, and, in the case of peaches grown in Ontario, also means that the pressure test through the skin of the peach does not exceed 18 pounds as indicated by a pressure tester with a 5/16 inch plunger.

Although the pressure test is indicated above, there is no one single conclusive guide in determining whether a peach is mature or not.

There are a number of indications which may be useful and are listed here in order of reliability.

1. Ground Colour

The ground colour is an important external indication of maturity. The ground colour of an immature peach is usually dark green. On mature peaches, this colour will have broken to a yellowish green. The ground colour should be judged on the shaded side of the peach, not the blush side.

2. Flesh

The flesh of an immature peach has a fine granular texture which gradually disappears as the peach becomes mature. The inspector should break rather than cut a segment of the flesh of the peach. When there is a definite change in the flesh granulation and a chewed portion has some sweetness, the indications are that the peach is mature.

3. Shoulders and Sutures

The shoulders and sutures should be well rounded and well filled out, not pinched and drawn. This is necessary to comply with the definitions of well formed and uniformly mature. This indication is not completely reliable because, in dry seasons, mature peaches may not be filled out normally.

4. Pit

On most mature freestone varieties, the pit will usually come free without adhering flesh when the peach is cut crosswise to the pit and twisted in the hands. This test is not very reliable and should never be used alone because in dry seasons and in lots that have been highly fertilized with nitrates, immature peaches will do the same thing.

Note: 1. and 2. are the most reliable and each should be considered when judging maturity.

Uniformly Mature

Means that the peaches within a container are of the same stage of maturity, i.e., that stage of development that ensures completion of the ripening process. The stage of maturity of a mature peach is judged by its firmness and palatability.

The various stages of maturity are:

Hard: Means the peach does not yield to moderate pressure. Fruit at this stage is not edible, but is ideal for long shipments.

Firm: Means the peach yields very slightly to moderate pressure. Fruit at this stage is not edible.

Firm Ripe: Means the peach yields slightly to moderate pressure. It is fairly palatable but has not yet reached the prime eating stage.

Ripe: Means the peach yields readily to moderate pressure. The flesh has reached the prime eating stage - juicy and sweet.

Soft: Means the peach has very little resistance to slight pressure dead ripe. All soft peaches are defects (not sound).

Sound: Means that, at the time of packing, loading or final shipping point inspection, the peach is free from condition defects such as decay, breakdown, freezing injury, softness, shrivelling, over ripeness or other injury affecting its keeping quality.

Handpicked: Means that the fruit shows no evidence of rough handling or of having been on the ground. Peaches that have not been handpicked will probably not meet the cleanliness or bruising requirements of the grade.

Of One Variety: Means that the peaches, within a container, are of the same general shape and colour.

Size

Canada No. 1 or Canada Domestic

Diameter

  • a minimum diameter of 2 ⅛ inches (54 mm) in the case of new crop peaches sold prior to August 15 in any year;
  • a minimum diameter of 2 ¼ inches (57 mm) in the case of peaches sold on or after August 15 in any year.

When in a package, do not vary more than ¼ inch (6.35 mm) in diameter.

The shape and cleanliness requirements for peaches are as follows:

Canada No. 1

  • well formed
  • fairly clean

Canada Domestic

  • fairly well formed
  • reasonably clean

Well Formed: Means that the peach is of the shape characteristic of the variety when mature. The shape of the peach may be slightly irregular but not to the extent that it is lopsided or otherwise deformed.

Fairly Well Formed: Means that at least one-half of the peach is of the shape characteristic of the variety when mature and that the other half deviates only slightly from the shape characteristic of the variety when mature. An interpretation of deviates only slightly is 15% of the surface deviating not more than ¼ inch from the normal contour of the peach.

Cleanliness

Fairly Clean: Means that the individual peach is free from dirt, dust, spray residue or other foreign matter that is noticeably in contrast with the colour of the peach.

Reasonably Clean: Means that the peach does not show any noticeable amount of dirt, dust, spray residue or other foreign material which is considered to be more than slightly affecting the appearance. More than slightly affecting for peaches would mean any amount of thickly smeared foreign matter and more than ¾ of an inch in the aggregate for light smearings of foreign matter.

Free from defects

Canada No. 1

  • Insects, insect larva, larva, sunscald, hail marks, skin punctures or breaks, growth cracks,
  • split pits and gum: see split pits in free from damage defects.

Canada Domestic

  • Insects and insect insect injury, disease.

Free from damage defects

Canada No. 1

Bruises:

  • individually exceed ½ inch in diameter, or
  • exceed ¾ inch in aggregate area

Canada Domestic

  • individually exceed ½ inch in diameter, or
  • exceed 1 inch in aggregate area

Canada No. 1

Limb rub marks:

  • exceed 3 per peach
  • exceed ½ inch in aggregate area

Canada Domestic

  • exceed 5% of the surface area

Canada No. 1

Russeting:

  • rough - none allowed
  • dark colour that exceeds ½ inch in aggregate area.
  • fine, light colour
  • exceeds 15% of the surface area

Canada Domestic

  • dark colour that exceeds 5% of the surface area
  • fine, light coloured
  • allow any amount

Canada No. 1

Plant bug injury

  • sunken or pitted, or
  • has deformed the peach, or
  • exceeds ½ inch in aggregate area

Canada Domestic

  • exceeds 5% of the surface area

Canada No. 1

Hail injury

  • free from hail marks

Canada Domestic

  • not well healed,
  • broken skin and exceeds 3/16 inch in diameter or 1/16 inch in depth,
  • broken skin allow up to 3 marks per peach,
  • exceeds 10% of the surface area, or
  • noticeably depressed the affected area

Canada No. 1

Oak bug injury, ink spot, scab, mildew:

  • free from

Canada Domestic

  • exceeds 5% of the surface area

Canada No. 1

Split pit:

  • if opening showing after stem is removed, or if it has caused the peach to be definitely misshapen

Canada Domestic

  • exceeds ⅛ inch in width to be judged with stem in

Canada No. 1

Skin punctures, suture cracks, other breaks

  • free from

Canada Domestic

  • free from, except in J.H. Hale variety growth cracks, allow well healed suture cracks not exceeding ½ inch in length

Canada No. 1

Scale injury

  • Considered as injury when exceeds 2 spots which contrast sharply with the background colour of the peach. Small spots which are not readily apparent and spots which blend with the background colour of the peach should not be considered as injury.

Canada Domestic

  • Considered as injury when exceeds 10 spots which contrast sharply with the background colour of the peach. Small spots which are not readily apparent and spots which blend with the background colour of the peach should not be considered as injury.

Canada No. 1

Suture stitching

  • light - allow up to one inch in length;
  • dark - none allowed

Canada Domestic

  • allow full length if not too rough to damage in handling or in transit

Canada No. 1

Stem pull

  • If only upper layer of skin torn - disregard. Scoreable only if flesh torn.

Canada Domestic

  • If only upper layer of skin torn - disregard. Scoreable only if flesh torn.

Canada No. 1

Grasshopper bites

  • free from

Canada Domestic

  • exceeds ¼ inch aggregate, ⅛ inch deep

Canada No. 1 or Canada Domestic

Gum

  • in both Canada No. 1 and Canada Domestic grades, any gum adhering to the fruit is scoreable

Canada No. 1

Mildew

  • free from
  • smooth off-coloured spots are not characteristic mildew but should be treated the same

Canada Domestic

  • exceeds 5% of the surface area
  • smooth off-coloured spots are not characteristic mildew mildew but should be treated the same

Deformity - see shape requirements.

Bruises

  • soft or discoloured and individually exceed ½ inch in diameter or exceed ¾ inch in the aggregate

Canada Domestic

  • soft or discoloured and individually exceed ½ inch or exceed 1 inch in the aggregate

Pressure bruises resulting from good commercial packing should not be scored unless they are soft or discoloured under the skin.

Free from damage in both grades also means:

  • a combination of two or more of the above mentioned defects, the total area of which exceeds the greater single area tolerance prescribed for the particular defects of the combination; and
  • any injury or defect or combination thereof, other than an injury or defect referred to earlier that materially (Canada No. 1) or seriously (Canada Domestic) affects the appearance, edibility or shipping quality.

Properly packed: means that when the peaches are packed in a package, they are not so packed as to be slack or overpressed or otherwise in a condition likely to result in damage from handling or in transit. If packed too loose, the peaches will move and bruise. If packed too tight, bruising will also be the result.

4 quart and 6 quart baskets shall be packed either 2 layers separated by a cardboard divider with the top layer at least even with the top rim of the basket or jumble packed, in which case the product shall be heaped above the top rim of the basket.

Tolerances

The tolerances for peaches are applied by count.

Size

  • 5% Specimens outside prescribed size requirements - 5%
  • Packages exceeding 10% outside ¼ inch size variation - 10%

These are separate tolerances over and above the 10% total grade defects permitted.

General

  • Decay - 3%
  • Each defect - 5%
  • Not to exceed 10% total
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