News and Stories

UPDATE: Onions - Occasional Translucent Layers

January 22, 2020
Translucent layers are a quality concern that may be seen occasionally in the third quarter (January/February) of the Northwest onion storage season.  Translucency is characterized by a grayish, watery texture within the outer layer(s) of an onion when cut in half.
  • Translucency can form in storage as well as in transit
    • In storage, onions at the bottom portion of a storage pile endure pressure from the weight of the onions above
    • Onions exposed to cold temperatures during hauling from storage sheds to production facilities or in-transit after shipping can develop translucent scales
  • Shippers are unable to detect translucency during the sorting and packing process; the defect is internal and appears under the dry, outer skin of the onion
  • Translucency is a scoreable defect when visible across the circumference of three or more layers 
  • Upon arrival, onions should be stored in a cool (36 to 45 degree), dark, dry, and well-ventilated (high air-flow) area to extend shelf-life and preserve quality
  • Sheds in the Northwest have USDA inspectors on sight daily to insure onions meet grade before shipment  
Attached are several photos demonstrating the appearance of translucent layers.
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
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