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March 21, 2022

As the Northwest storage onion season winds down, quality is beginning to weaken.

  • Quality defects include dry and watery scale, along with translucency
    • Dry Scale
      • Dry scale develops when an onion is maturing during its growth cycle
      • When growth is hindered, due to excessive heat or lack of adequate water, the inner bulb may set a small layer of dry skin around the top of the bulb; the outer layers will grow around this, leaving what looks like a gap between the layers
    • Translucency
      • 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
  • Onions near the bottom portion of a storage bin endure pressure from the weight of the onions piled above
  • Supplies exposed to low temperatures can develop translucent scales during transport from storage sheds to production facilities or in-transit after shipping
  • Watery Scale
  • Onions with watery scales have an off-color and a water-soaked appearance internally
  • This defect develops due to lack of nutrients, sub-optimal water treatment, and sharp temperature changes
  • Suppliers are unable to detect defects during the sorting and packing process; the defects are internal and appear under the dry, outer skin of the onion
  • Photos are attached

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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