Section I. DETERIORATIVE CONDITIONS IN FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
a. Duty of 91R20. As a 91R20 veterinary food inspection specialist, you must
verify the presence of deteriorative conditions in fresh fruits and vegetables (FF&V). As
appropriate, you will confirm inspection findings indicating the presence of deteriorative
subsistence. Deteriorative conditions include abnormal color(s), off-odor(s), abnormal
texture(s), off-flavor(s), foreign material, and others.
b. Duty of 91R10. The 91R10 veterinary food inspection specialist's findings do
not identify the deteriorative condition. Rather, he notes abnormalities of the inspected
product which may or may not indicate the presence of a deteriorative condition.
c. General. You, the 91R20 veterinary food inspection specialist, must identify
the deteriorative conditions in fresh fruits and vegetables. These conditions are
discussed in this section.
MICROBIAL SPOILAGE OF FRESH FRUITS
a. General. A large and varied population of microorganisms, including the
spores of many types of fungi, contaminates the surface of fruits during the growing
season. Relatively few of the fungi are capable of attacking fruit before harvest. The
ripening process increases the susceptibility of fruit to invasion. Fruits have a low pH
that inhibits most bacteria. The acid-tolerant bacteria are mainly gram-positive
Lactobacillus and Leuconostoc. Fruits are usually spoiled by acid-tolerant yeasts and
b. Soft Rot and Blue Mold Rot. Penicillium species are important spoilage
organisms of most fruits.
Soft rot. P. digitatum and P. italicum cause soft rot in citrus fruit.
(2) Blue mold rot. P. expansum causes blue mold rot of deciduous fruit.
Blue mold rot consists of soft, watery, tan to light brown areas that are readily gouged
out of the flesh of the fruit. The tissue has a moldy or musty odor and flavor. There are
typical bluish-green spores on the fruit. It is the most important storage decay of
c. Black Rot. Black rot in apples, citrus fruits, bananas, and pineapples is due
to species of Alternaria as well as other molds. The tissue becomes soft and watery.