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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Maintaining Quality and Extending Shelf and Shipping Life of Fresh Fruit with No or Minimal Synthetic Pesticide Inputs

Location: Commodity Protection and Quality

Title: The science behind the proposed maturity standard change

Authors
item Arpaia, Mary Lu -
item Collin, Sue -
item Fjeld, Kent
item Sievert, Jim -
item Obenland, David

Submitted to: Citrograph
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2011
Publication Date: June 15, 2011
Citation: Arpaia, M., Collin, S., Fjeld, K.A., Sievert, J., Obenland, D.M. 2011. The science behind the proposed maturity standard change. Citrograph. 2(3):24-33.

Technical Abstract: The current maturity standard for navel oranges in California has been in place for nearly 100 years yet does not always do a good job of ensuring that consumers obtain good-tasting fruit during the early season. Early work that was performed which supported adoption of the standard may have been adequate for that time, but the marketplace is much more competitive now given the large number of commodities that consumers now have to choose from. Our research with the taste panel at UCKAC clearly demonstrated over a three-year period that navel oranges picked at a 8:1 SSC/TA ratio are disliked. This conclusion was supported by consumer testing performed near Chicago with the Tragon Corporation. All of this work also demonstrated that a new measure, which is calculated by subtracting TA times a set value from SSC, is superior to SSC/TA as a predictor of likeability. This new measure, which was designed to eliminate poor tasting fruit and at the same time not to overly delay harvest, has been named the California Standard and is designated as a possible replacement for our current maturity standard.

Last Modified: 12/28/2014
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