Presizing And Presorting

Depending on the potential marketing window, the storability, the bruising susceptibility, and how perishable the crop is, some fruit are put through an initial process of presizing. Presizing is a sorting process that accumulates fruit of similar sizes and colors for future packing. The durability of some apple cultivars and their ability to be stored for long periods in a controlled atmosphere make them the most likely candidates for presizing. The packing operation can run much more efficiently if large, uniform lots of fruit are being processed together. Without presizing, the potential number of commercial package combinations of sizes and grades possible from a single group of fruit could number as high as 150. Presizing is also a filtering mechanism that can eliminate culls due to insect, pathogen, or mechanical injury. Removal of culls thus improves the efficiency of the storage and packing system by decreasing the energy consumed in storage and/or handling and materials and consumables used in packing. Most, if not all, cultivars of stone fruit are so fragile and perishable that presizing is not a viable option. Packing stone fruit therefore is an intensive operation that must be carried out immediately following harvest and must account for many variables or have marketing tolerances of greater variability in color and size within the same box.

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