May 2009. Exotic pear is available in different Indian cities. The fruit sellers claim that it is imported from New Zealand. This is not certain. Fruits are very costly and beyond the reach of average Indian. However, theree is a problem: fruits look normal in the shops, but when cut, rotting is visible clearly. See the images below:
Such fruits are not fit for consumption.
There were several messages from members saying a) that they has seen similar problems elsewhere, caused by calcium deficinecy, drought conditions or late harvest; b) a post-harvest storage issue (storage temperature, post-harvest dip procedures, controlled atmosphere, storage time, even packaging, or associated with pest problems).
The Technical Manager, Pipfruit NZ Inc., was concerned about the correspondence and sent an email, most parts of which are provided belowl:
"The original entry in this string implied New Zealand as the source of the pears. This has caused unsubstantiated speculation about exports from NZ. Internationally, NZ pome fruit are recognised as very high quality.
"Additionally, NZ Customs data indicates NO pears have been exported to India this season. The closest port receiving NZ pears was Singapore. If they are from NZ (and I require to see an image of the carton end label as proof please) then an Indian trader has sourced these from a third party. Cool chain maintenance will have been broken several times in this process.
"The internal browning is not a disease as originally implied but caused by broken cool chain. This would have happened once the product was devanned probably in India. India is notorious for not having the infrastructure to maintain cool chain. Additionally look at the 'ripeness' in the flesh in the
images. The flesh is not grainy but appears smooth indicating over-ripe. These pears are beyond eating ripe. No exporter sends pears overseas in this condition. Additionally, they would not meet NZ export quality standards and would fail export inspection. Pears are slightly under-ripe when harvested and maintained in cool chain to maintain this - ripening resumes at retail.
"I suggest Mr Oudia concentrate his concerns with the cool chain within India to resolve this issue."
A follow-up email can be read at tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/pestnet/message/6209; this provides information on the behaviour of temperate fruit in tropical conditions and how it should be treated to deliver quality fruit to the market. It seems likely that the fruit, from wherever it was sourced, was removed from cold storage prematurely.