Internal and external damage to fruit tissues can result from impact bruising. When pears are firm, impact bruises appear as internal brown spots that are seen only after the fruits are peeled. These spots tend to become dry and corky or pithy when pears are held in cold storage. This type of injury can occur any time firm pears are roughly handled. Pears should not be dropped more than 4 inches onto hard surfaces nor more than 8 inches upon other pears when being harvested, sorted, graded, and packed. Since cold fruits are more sensitive to injury, pears should be packed warm whenever possible. When pears begin to ripen or soften, impact bruises can cause extensive damage to the fruits.
Compression of fruits in boxes or packages can cause pressure bruises, mainly evident as flattened areas on the fruits. Compressed areas on firm fruits may disappear in time, although some discoloration could result upon ripening. Pressure bruises in ripening or soft fruits can produce serious discoloration and deterioration of fruit tissues.
Careful handling is essential in all stages of marketing. Prepackaging of pears in specially designed trays that are overwrapped tightly with a plastic film to hold the pears in place will reduce bruising.
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