Cantaloupe harvest and inspection: The cantaloupe inspection and certification program performed by Department staff provides a valuable service to both the consumer and lettuce industry. The consumer is assured of a quality product free from defects and industry maintains the integrity and quality reputation of its labels. The cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon and mixed melon harvest begins in early July. Department field staff inspects for maturity, decay, sponginess, sun scalding and other defects.
Cantaloupe harvest crews in Firebaugh Area.
Inspector Rosemarie Davis sets aside packed boxes for an official sample.
Inspection includes looking for defects, such as internal decline, decay...
...and maturity. A refractometer is used to measure the soluble solids content of the cantaloupe juice. Westside cantaloupes must meet 9% to pass maturity.
Department staff also performs surveillance activities to deter field thefts and illegal roadside sales.