Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Food science offers many parameters to decide about the maturity of fruits which include, size, color,texture tests, acid-sugar ratio, etc with each variety of fruit having its own special features. But it is a tough job for a common man to select fruits in the market based on visual or touch sensation. Some consumers even press the fruits to get a feeling about the quality of the same and through experience are able to pick up right fruits with minimum chance of spoilage and waste. Fruits like Sapota, Custard Apple can pose serious problem to the consumers because they never seem to ripen after bringing home. That a problem does exist is borne out by the following commentary on the art of picking good fruits, both Climacteric as well as non-Climacteric types.

"There's nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than biting into a juicy, sweet, ripe piece of fruit. But how do you know if a peach or strawberry is going to taste as good as it looks? While it's true that choosing delicious fruits is more of an art than a science, there are some guidelines that can help you make smart choices. It's helpful to know that there are different categories of ripe, according to Shirley Corriher, a food scientist and author of BakeWise. Some fruits become ripe when carbohydrates break down into sugar and they become sweeter after they are picked, such as bananas, apples, pears, and mangoes. Then there are the ones that are so deceptive, she says, because they ripen in color, texture, and juiciness after they're picked, but they don't get any sweeter because they get their sugar from the plant sap. Apricots, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, cantaloupe, and honeydew are all good examples. Soft berries, cherries, citrus, watermelon, pineapple, and grapes will never ripen after they've been picked, says Corriher. So if they're not ripe in the grocery store, you probably don't want to bring them home. Avocados, on the other hand, don't actually start to ripen until after they've been picked".

Modern day retail marketing system can be depended on to access only good quality fruits with minimum chance of spoilage at consumer end and therefore many consumers trust them to provide fruits of assured quality. Imagine the situation in many countries where fruits are sold by small traders where there is no guarantee regarding the ripening of the fruit after purchase. Traders do follow many undesirable practices like selling premature fruits, artificial ripening using non-permitted ripening agents ending up with attractively colored fruits but with incipient taste. Such a situation becomes doubly burdensome to the consumers when the prices of many fruits have shot up to astronomical levels and even if one fruit is not fit for consumption it is a significant loss to the buyer.


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