Quality review of European vegetables by Peter Damen, KCB:

Europe: Quality of produce below standards

"For most Dutch glasshouse growers the end of the crop is approaching. For years now we have been urging growers to keep the quality up until the end. This year we did not manage. The supply seems reasonable but the shelf life is below standards. A few days after the delivery, fruits or stalks are starting to rot. Various infected deliveries are rejected by the trading company itself, or later on in the chain by the purchaser. Rot is revealed primarily within bell peppers and eggplants," says Dutch quality specialist Peter Damen KCB.

“In pepper bells I saw a big distinction between the large- and small-sized peppers. If the large-sized bell peppers had less bumps, they would still be good. In the small-sized bell peppers there was too much class II fruit with rot and open lesions. It would be better if these defects were rejected at once. Eggplants looked in quality still good but were too often marred by a rotten stalk. I cannot tell how old the products were when I inspected them. It is important that no one holds on to them even for one day.

Of the cucumbers I have seen only one party looked very nice. Most parties were heterogeneous in color and shape and contained too many class II fruits, not a great final sprint. Only the tomatoes were of good quality. I did hear about some split fruits, but I have not seen them myself. As far as you are still able, my message is: sort out damaged fruits, no matter how small, and nurture class II fruits. Let's keep the quality levels up until the end!”

By : Peter Damen, Quality specialist KCB 

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