FROM THE FIELDS: HEAT-RELATED QUALITY DEFECTS

July 1, 2022

Markon inspectors have observed heat-related quality defects in various Salinas Valley row crops after two significant heat waves occurred over the past three weeks. Although most crops are still meeting Markon First Crop specifications, some Markon Best Available is being substituted, depending on quality.

Below is a list of quality and shelf-life concerns that are currently being noted in commodity and value-added packs:

Baby Leaf and Other Lettuces:  

  • Bolting/seeder
  • Growth crack
  • Inconsistent growth/fluctuating density
  • Increased insect pressure
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Sun burn/sun scalding

Broccoli and Cauliflower:

  • Accelerated growth/oversized crowns
  • Dehydration
  • Hollow core
  • Pin rot
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Yellowing

Strawberries:

  • Decreased size
  • Lower volume
  • Increased bruising
  • Soft texture
  • Shortened shelf-life

Temperatures have cooled significantly, and the normal Salinas Valley marine layer has returned, but these sporadic heat-related issues are expected to affect both commodity and value added products over the next two to three weeks. Markon inspectors are working with suppliers on allocating the best product for Markon orders.

Maintaining the cold chain throughout distribution is critical for maximizing quality and shelf-life.

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

©2022 Markon Cooperative, Inc. All rights reserved.