News and Stories

FROM THE FIELDS: Frost-Related Quality Issues

December 04, 2015


Markon First Crop Premium Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine Lettuces are limited; Markon Best Available is being substituted as needed.


After seven consecutive mornings of freezing temperatures in the Arizona/California desert growing region, varying levels of frost-related quality issues are now appearing in most iceberg and leaf lettuce fields. These defects include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Dehydration
  • Dull appearance/loss of sheen
  • Epidermal blistering
  • Light epidermal peeling
  • Wilted inner leaves in leaf lettuce items
  • Yellow discoloration on leaf tips

Case weights are dropping due to dehydration and extra trimming of outer leaves. Not all of the above-mentioned defects can be removed easily; despite the best efforts of harvesting crews, some packs will exhibit damaged leaves.


Although warmer temperatures are forecast for the next several days, the effects of this past week of freezing weather will be felt throughout the industry for several weeks. Younger crops (with more post-freeze growth time) will exhibit more extensive damage once they mature, particularly in the form of discolored epidermal peeling.


Markon inspectors are evaluating lots daily to monitor changes in quality and working with suppliers to secure the best available product.


Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


Erika Sanchez

Quality Assurance


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