Commercially ripened strawberries

ltiltonSeptember 13, 2013

I don't normally buy store strawberries, but earlier this week I picked up a carton. The berries were dark red, but when I cut them up, the interiors were entirely white. Also hard, juiceless, aromaless and flavorless.

I assume the growers or packers are using some chemical to give unripe berries that red appearance. Wonder what it is.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
2ajsmama

I read somewhere recently (maybe this forum? Thread about organic vs nonorganic Gala apples?) that they spray color on apples. Maybe they do the same with strawberries? Or ethylene gas?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
murkwell

They may be using a chemical, but it may also be that these berries were bred for those qualities.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ltilton

These berries were labeled organic

Murky - that's what I'm worried about. I just put in Chandler and Cavendish, varieties I'm not familiar with, and I hope they aren't that kind of strawberry.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 2:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Ltilton,

My bet is it's the variety. I am in Florida and our strawberry season starts right after Thanksgiving and lasts till March or so. Big huge bright red gorgeous tasteless dry berries. I remember the berries from PA...when you would mash them you got a ton of juice, not these new berries. I think they are bred to ship and hold well and not to taste great. The thing is if you let these berries sit on the plants for 2-3 days AFTER they are fully ripe looking they get pretty darn good.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 10:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
camp10

Cavendish are very nice strawberries. I grow a lot of them for fresh eating and freezing.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 11:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
camp10

Deleting duplicate..

This post was edited by camp10 on Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 11:43

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 11:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ltilton

Thanks, camp. That's reassuring. I know these varieties are grown commercially in the south.

I guess there is a whole generation of shoppers that has no idea what a ripe strawberry should look like.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 12:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ltilton

I noticed one of my new Chandlers setting a fruit and let it go, picked it yesterday when nicely red. Happy to see it was red all the way through, dripping juice and flavor.

Just what are these varieties that are red outside and white inside, that commercial growers plant? I'd like to be sure to avoid getting them by accident if I plant again.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 8:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
franktank232(z5 WI)

Another reason to eat frozen fruit.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 8:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ltilton

I don't like frozen fruit! Rather do without strawberries until June rolls around again. Better than those dead red things. Yukkk!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 9:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

IMHO it is the fact commercial growers are growing strawberries as annuals. I have been growing them only one year but have observed that the plants produce very bad berries at first. Very tart even though they look ripe. As the plants mature even half red berries are sweet. An amazing transformation. So it's possible near the end of the annual season the berries will be decent. Anyway my guess is the berries are from new plants,
I observed this on Everbearing. Maybe June bearing are the same for the 1st year. Most strawberry guides suggest to remove first year buds on June bearing. Since they are growing them as annuals, they are not! I can't say what first year Junes taste like, I did remove all buds.
So in conclusion my guess is they are marketing 1st year June bearing strawberries, and conventional wisdom say to discard them. And apparently for good reason :)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ltilton

What it makes me think of is the ground meat at the grocery store, treated with some chemical that makes it look red and fresh on the outside when you cut into it, it's brown. It looks like someone has sprayed paint onto unripe berries to make them look red and ripe.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 11:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Ltilton,

We feed our dogs a raw diet so every few months we grind up a couple hundred pounds of dog food. Beefheart, liver, kidneys, fish, chicken necks etc. Sometimes it would sit a day or so in a spare fridge before we could package it all up and get it frozen. I would notice the red outside and brown inside phenomenon. Like you I had always figured the store did something to the ground meat to cause this. Because it also happened here I was curious so a few years back I did a google search about it.

What you are seeing is a 100% natural reaction to the presence and lack of simple oxygen. The outside of the meat and in an inch or two (depends how tightly it is packed) has access to oxygen and a protein in the meat reacts with the oxygen and that results in the nice red color. The darker red it is the fresher the meat is as the effect does fade away over time. The inside of the meat toward the center has no access to oxygen. The inside in fact uses up what oxygen it has and that is what causes that brown color you see on the inside.

This post was edited by bamboo_rabbit on Wed, Sep 18, 13 at 12:33

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ltilton

OK, but how do you explain the strawberries?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"OK, but how do you explain the strawberries?"

Asked and answered. Cultivar, or growing location. All strawberries have white cores. Some may just be a wider shade of pale. White is a common color. I grow 5 white cultivars. Can you imagine how much it would cost to spray them? No way! Sounds like the berries had a large core, nothing more. Bad cultivar!!

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, Sep 18, 13 at 13:55

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 1:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Ltilton,

Just like Drew said and It isn't just strawberries. Look at red delicious apples, Gorgeous to look at but taste like cardboard. The growers want the great look and holding ability, taste is way down the list of priorities.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 2:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ltilton

If it's a cultivar, what cultivar is it?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 2:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

I can't say what it is you bought but the local variety grown commercially here it is Camarosa and sweet Charlie.

This post was edited by bamboo_rabbit on Wed, Sep 18, 13 at 17:05

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 5:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ltilton

Thanks. "Sweet Charlie" -- if that's what I bought, what a misnomer!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Ltilton,

I agree completely. Like I said though it actually is a good berry but it has to hang on the plant red 3 or 4 days to flavor up and soften a bit.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 7:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
eboone_gw

The breeding of these fruits for mass production at locations distant to the markets 'requires' them to breed for color before they are really ripe. A hundred years ago, apples would turn red (at least those varieties that were red) when they were ripe. Now growers have selected 'red sports' that turn red weeks before they are really ripe. The apple 'Delicious' used to be a good apple that turned red when ripe and was sweet then, now they get red and are picked well before ripening so they can be stored for many months and shipped across the country without risk of them spoiling. With strawberries, the issue is not the long term storage but the time needed to pick, sort, package and ship them to markets far away. And gullible customers see this wonderful looking red fruit and assume they are ripe and sweet.

Grow your own and/or buy from local sources in season.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

We been dogging grocery stores a lot here, and just for balance I would like to report I bought some white grapes that were huge, and really long, probably treated! And some reds. But man they were some of the best grapes I ever had hands down. I see no reason to grow them, if I could get these every time! The whites were like apples with a good crunch! Wow!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 2:01PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
newly planted blueberries turning red
I planted 15 blueberries, 8 biloxi and 7 star. 10 of...
tugagardener
Carmine Jewel
So I've been fretting about my Early Richmond for a...
iowajer
Lime and lemon tree Houston area?
Best lime and lemon tree for Houston area? What are...
johnfam
Thinning Pears
I have several varieties of pear trees (Bartlett, Comics,...
walterdavidwilson
conflicting pawpaw spacing info
Last week I planted several dozen paw paw. I had read...
Bushwhacker Blood
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™