Pears

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Asian pears (Pyrus pyrifolia) are not part of the same Canadian pear species (Pyrus communis) therefore no Canadian grade shall be applied to those pears and no customs clearance shall be done on those pears. Asian pears could also be called Japanese pears, Chinese pears or Korean pears.

All Canadian grades require that pears be mature, sound, handpicked and sized.

Mature

Mature means that the pears have reached the stage of development which will ensure the proper completion of the ripening process.

Compliance with this requirement is sometimes difficult to determine, especially when pears are harvested in a hard state. No one indication is a positive sign of maturity but all of the following conditions will give a fairly accurate indication that a pear has become mature: break in ground colour from dark green to lighter green, plumpness of the seeds, dark colour of the seeds, spreading open of the seed cavities, corking over of the lenticels making them more prominent (especially Bartletts) and an increased accumulation of natural wax giving the fruit a finish.

Pressure Tester

How to use the Pressure Tester

The pressure tester is an objective means to determine firmness. While pressure readings cannot be reliably used to determine "immaturity", its use should be of great assistance in making uniform assessment of maturity. In addition to the above guides to firmness, the pressure tester can be very helpful especially on pears that are borderline as far as maturity stages are concerned, also reliably indicate storage potential for pears.

When pressure tests are made, unless specifically requested by the applicant, no reference to such action should be made on the face of the certificate. However, in all cases, pressure tests should be recorded on the inspection details sheet to help substantiate assessments made of product firmness. If the applicant requests that pressure test readings be shown on the certificate, a reading range and a "mostly" statement should be made, i.e., Pressure test readings in pounds: 10 to 16 (4.54 to 7.26 kg), mostly 13 to 15 (5.9 to 6.81 kg). Under the "Remarks" heading, the statement Pressure test readings reported at applicant's request should also be made.

In arriving at pressure test readings, it is recommended that two normal pears, not affected by sunscald or other defects, be selected from the package being inspected. Remove the skin from two spots on each pear, and apply the pressure test plunger (using a 5/16 inch (7.9 mm) plunger) into the open flesh while holding the pear against a solid background. Do not use the hand as a solid background. Record each reading on the inspection details and calculate the percentage of pears in each maturity group. These same two pears can then be cut for determination of internal damage.

Pressure Test Table

Variety Hard Firm Firm Ripe
Bartlett 19 (8.6 kg) to 23 (10.4 kg) 17 (7.7 kg) and 18 (8.2 kg) 15 (6.8 kg) and 16 (7.3 kg)
Anjou 11 (5 kg) and up 7.5 (3.4 kg) to 10.5 (4.8 kg) 7 (3.2 kg)

Calibrating Pressure Testers

Pressure testers should be calibrated occasionally to ensure that they are reading correctly. This can be done conveniently by placing the plunger of the tester against the platform of an accurate set of scales and pressing down until the scale registers a given amount and checking this against the pressure test reading. The calibration should be made at various points on the scale of the pressure tester, as the correction may vary for the different points. If the tester is held upright on the scales in calibrating, theoretically, the weight of the plunger rod should be deducted from the scale reading. Practically, this is not important and is not done in the original calibration of the instrument.

Care of Pressure Testers

The pressure tester is a costly item of inspection aids. In view of this, the following points of care should be carried out. First, wash the tester at the end of the day, preferably in hot water. Second, hang the tester up with the plunger down so that the moisture will run out and not corrode the spring. 

Requirements

Sound

Sound means that the fruit is free from condition defects such as decay, breakdown, freezing injury, bitter bit, soft or shrivelled specimens, overripe specimens, brown core, corky core or other injury affecting its keeping quality.

Handpicked

Handpicked means that the pears should show no evidence of rough handling or having been on the ground.

Size

Sized means that when pears are in tiered packages, they have been packed

  • by count;
  • to a diameter size range not greater than 1/4 of an inch in diameter.

Grade Marks

Canada Fancy Pears may be alternatively designated Canada No. 1 and Canada Commercial Pears may be alternatively designated Canada Cee, Canada C or Canada Domestic.

The shape requirements for the various grades of pears are as follows:

  • Canada Extra Fancy = Well formed
  • Canada Fancy = Fairly well formed
  • Canada Commercial = Not more than 15% surface of abnormal shape or depression more than 1/4 inch from normal contour.

Shape (Form)

The shape of pears should be considered from the standpoint of the characteristic shape of the variety being inspected. Characteristic shape of the various varieties of pears shows a wide variation and many have characteristics that make them outstanding with reference to shape.

For example: the Bosc, is generally extremely long, whereas the Anjou is short and plump.

Well Formed

Well formed means that the pears are of the shape characteristic of the variety when fully mature.

Slight irregularities of shape from type which do not appreciably detract from the general appearance of the fruit shall be considered well formed.

Fairly Well Formed

Fairly well formed: means that at least one half of the pears are of the shape characteristic of the variety when fully mature and the other half deviates only slightly from the shape characteristic of the variety when fully mature.

Deviates only slightly: means not to the extent which detracts materially from the appearance of the fruit. Pears which have one side flattened and the core is definitely off-centre, or pears which are excessively rough or angular are scoreable under the definition of fairly well formed.

The cleanliness requirements for the various grades of pears are as follows:

  • Canada Extra Fancy = Clean
  • Canada Fancy = Fairly clean
  • Canada Commercial = Reasonably clean

Cleanliness

Cleanliness may be an important factor of quality under certain conditions. This is especially true when the foreign material is spray residue. Pears with conspicuous spray residue or dirt are scored as individual specimens when the appearance is affected sufficiently to affect the grade.

Clean

Clean means that the appearance of the pear is not affected by dirt, dust, spray residue or other foreign material.

The definition of clean for pears should be interpreted as free from dirt, dust, spray residue or other foreign material.

Fairly Clean

Fairly clean means that the pear 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.

The definition of more than slightly affecting is a difficult one to arrive at due to the variations in the density of adhering foreign matter. Foreign matter thickly smeared on the fruit should be limited to an aggregate area not exceeding 1/4 of an inch in diameter. Lightly smeared foreign matter should not exceed an aggregate area of 3/4 of an inch in diameter.

Reasonably Clean

Reasonably clean means that the pear does not show amounts of dirt, dust, spray residue or other foreign material which is noticeably in contrast with the background colour.

Under this definition, foreign matter thickly smeared on the fruit should be limited to an aggregate area not exceeding 1/4 of an inch in diameter while lightly smeared fruit may be affected up to an area not exceeding 1 1/4 inches in diameter.

Moldy Stems

The problem of surface mould present on the stems of pears often happens in storage after an extended period of time. It might also be caused by poor ventilation or both at the same time.

This mould has been known to penetrate woody tissues of the stem and cause it to soften and slough off when rubbed between the fingers. Studies indicate that the rate of progress of this stem infection is relatively slow and that the organism which causes decay of the stem does not necessarily affect the flesh.

It is also known that when moldy or soft and sloughing stems are exposed to warm air the condition soon dries up and disappears leaving the appearance of the pear unaffected. The USDA concurs with these reports. In view of this, the condition of moldy stems should not be reported on the certificate as it does not constitute damage as defined in the standard. However, some mention of the condition should always appear on the detail sheet indicating its severity.

Occasionally an inspector may be requested to report this defect on the certificate but should only do so at the specific request of the applicant. However, it should be noted somewhere on the certificate that the condition does not constitute damage, for example, average 4% of the pears show moldy stems not considered damage and not affecting the grade. A statement under "Remarks" would indicate the defect was shown at applicant's request.

Scuffing

A dark brown or black discolouration of the skin occurs on tender skin varieties of pears (Bartletts, Flemish Beauty), as a result of abrasive action during the course of the regular harvesting, storing and packing program or in transit.

Although a similarity exists, this discolouration should not be confused with limb rub or the discolouration that readily occurs on firm ripe to ripe specimens and is commonly found in bulk displays in retail stores.

This defect is recognized as being progressive, therefore it is suggested that shippers be advised of its existence even though the lot meets requirements. The name of the person advised should be noted on the inspection details.

The term scuffing alone may be used on shipping point inspection details while the following descriptive phrase is suggested for destination certificates:

  • Dark brown (or black as the case may be)
  • Skin discolouration (Scuffing)
  • Average
  • Range

In order to ensure uniform interpretation and application of damage from this defect, the amounts listed in the defect table should be used both at shipping point and destination.

Defects

Permanent Defects Canada Extra Fancy Canada Fancy Canada Commercial
1. Drought spots - free from - free from - exceeds 3 per pear

- noticeably depressed or discoloured affected area

2. Freckled pit - free from - exceeds 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) in aggregate - exceeds 15% of the surface

- discolours the pears

3. Frost injury or russet ring - free from - rough

- if smooth exceeds 3/4 inch (19.1 mm) in aggregate

- if pear is not deformed, 15% of the surface

- if pear is deformed, 5% of the surface

4. Green staining - free from - exceed 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) in aggregate - do not score
5. Hail injury - broken the skin

- caused discolouration

- exceeds individually 1/8 inch (3.17 mm)

- exceeds 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) in aggregate

- not broken the skin but exceeds 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) in aggregate

- broken the skin and not well healed

- broken the skin, well healed, one skin break exceeds 3/16 inch (4.76 mm) or more than one skin break 1/8 inch (3.17 mm) in diameter or depth regardless the number

- noticeably depressed the affected area or materially affects the appearance of the pear

- not broken the skin but exceeds 3/4 inch (19.1 mm) in aggregate

- broken the skin and not well healed

- broken the skin, well healed and exceeds 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) in aggregate

- noticeably depressed or seriously affects appearance

6. Insects and insect larva - free from - free from - free from
7. Insect stings or punctures - free from - exceeds 2 stings

- exceeds 1/8 inch (3,17 mm) in depth

- exceeds 1/8 inch (3,17 mm) in diameter inclusive of any encircling discoloured ring

- not well healed

- well healed but exceeds 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) aggregate inclusive of any encircling discoloured ring

8. Leaf Roller - free from - has deformed the fruit

- exceeds 3/4 inch (19,1 mm) in aggregate

- exceeds 1 inch (25,4 mm) in aggregate
9. Limb rub or Leaf Mark - soft, rough or dark in colour

- light brown, smooth russet character and exceeds 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) aggregate

- soft, rough or dark in colour

- light brown, smooth russet character and exceeds 3/4 inch (19,1 mm) aggregate

- seriously depressed

- exceeds 1 inch (25,4 mm) in aggregate

10. Pear Psylla - affects the appearance

- exceeds 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) in aggregate

- exceeds 5% of the surface - exceeds 15% of the surface
11. Russeting

Note: Smooth russeting in Flemish Beauty pears is considered to be characteristic of the variety.

- rough

- smooth but not characteristic and exceeds 1 1/2" in aggregate

- rough

- smooth but not characteristic and exceeds 25% of the surface

- rough that exceeds 1 inch (25,4 mm) in aggregate
12. Scab - free from - exceeds 1/8 inch (3,17 mm) in aggregate - exceeds 1/2 inch (12.7 mm )aggregate
13. Scale and scale spots - exceeds 2 per pear

- more than 5% in the lot

- exceeds 2 per pear

- more than 5% in the lot

- exceeds 10 per pear
14. Spray burn and Sunscald - free from - does not blend with the normal colour

- caused blistering or cracking of the skin

- soft, blistered or cracked

- does not blend with the normal colour and exceeds 15% of the surface

15. Stoney Pit - free from - exceeds 1 per pear - exceeds 1/2 inch (12.7 mm)aggregate
Condition defects Canada Extra Fancy Canada Fancy Canada Commercial
1. Bitter Pit - free from - free from - free from
2. Black End - free from - free from - free from
3. Breakdown - free from - free from - free from
4. Brown Core - free from - free from - free from
5. Corky Core - free from - free from - free from
6. Decay - free from - free from - free from
7. Freezing Injury - free from - free from - free from
8. Overripe Specimens - free from - free from - free from
9. Shrivelled Specimens - free from - free from - free from
10. Soft Specimens - free from - free from - free from
11. Storage Scald - free from - free from - free from
12. Bruises - caused brown discolouration under the skin

- exceeds 3/4 inch (19,1 mm) in aggregate

- caused brown discolouration under the skin

- exceeds 3/4 inch (19,1 mm)" in aggregate

- caused brown discolouration under the skin

- exceeds 1 inch (25,4 mm) in aggregate

13. Mould in the calyx ends

- with or light grey coloured mould

- black or dark coloured mould

- confined to calyx bowls, don't score - extends out over the shoulders, free from

- free from

- confined to calyx bowls, don't score

- extends out over the shoulders, exceeds 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) in aggregate

- exceeds 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) aggregate

- confined to calyx bowls, don't score

- extends out over the shoulders, exceeds 15% of the surface

- exceeds 15% of the surface

14. Pink calyx - pink colour affects the skin surrounding the calyx lobes

- don't score if only calyx lobes are pink

- pink colour affects the skin surrounding the calyx lobes

- don't score if only calyx lobes are pink

- pink colour affects the skin surrounding the calyx lobes

- don't score if only calyx lobes are pink

15. Scurring - free from - exceeds 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) aggregate - exceeds 1 1/2" aggregate
16. Skin Puncture

- varieties other than Anjou

- Anjou variety

- free from

- exceeds 1 per pear

- exceeds 3/16" in diameter

- affects more than 10% of pears in the lot

- free from

- exceeds 1 per pear

- exceeds 3/16" in diameter

- affects more than 15% of pears in the lot

- exceeds 1 per pear

- exceeds 3/16" in diameter

- exceeds 2 per pear

- exceeds 3/16" in diameter individually

Tolerances

Tolerances are applied by count:

  1. 5% of the pears may be below the prescribed or declared minimum size.
  2. 5% of the pears may exceed the declared maximum size.
  3. 10% of the packages in a lot of tiered pears may contain more than 10% of pears that exceeds the maximum size variation.
  4. 3% of the pears may be affected by decay.
  5. 5% of the pears may have the same grade defect.
  6. 10% of the pears may have grade defects other than those referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) but including those referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e).

Note: At destination allow an additional 5% for condition defects including not more than an additional 2%  for decay.

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