Avocado Maturity Monitoring
The NZ avocado industry operates a database on fruit quality, receiving raw data on fruit assessments from Eurofins BOP maturity testing services, then processes the data and generates reports for key stakeholders. The library trays provide information on fruit quality at industry, exporter, packer and grower levels. The information obtained is delivered to the industry in a manner that is tailored to their requirements. Library trays were introduced in NZ in 2000/2001 season as a recommended best practice. Since the 2003/2004 season the collection of library trays from export lines of fruit has been compulsory.
At an industry level the library trays provide an overview of the nature and extent of quality problems affecting NZ fruit, and trends in the development of these disorders within and between seasons. As a quality management tool library trays are used to determine the influence of key factors on fruit quality. Three factors that have been demonstrated to have a consistent impact on fruit quality are the time delay between picking and packing the fruit, the duration of the cool-storage period (fruit age) and the rainfall prior to harvest.
Eurofins BOP receives one tray of fruit from every orchard pack-out, or one every fortnight where packing is being carried out continuously, to be assessed under the programme and is responsible for reporting our findings to the Avocado Industry Council. Avocados are stored for 28 days at 5 degrees celsius. Three assessments are carried out, an initial pre-log assessment, a 28-day green assessment and a ripe assessment.