How Does Grapefruit Get Off the Tree and Onto Your Table

Grapefruit is a delicious and nutritious fruit harvested and packed in a specific way to ensure peak freshness. From picking method to package temperature, special care is required to deliver Texas red grapefruit to your local grocery store. 

How Is Texas Grapefruit Harvested?

Texas grapefruit is typically harvested using the clean tree method. Clean-tree harvesting is simple — all the fruit is picked until the tree is clean. This process seems simple, but knowing when grapefruit is ready to be picked is less straightforward.

Most Texas grapefruit growers use a method called ring size picking. Each harvester has a set of rings used to size grapefruit. If the grapefruit is smaller than the ring, it is left on the tree. This method maximizes the amount of grapefruit picked, allowing the smaller fruits more time to grow.

Ring size picking is completed two or three times during the grapefruit season, which typically runs from October through April. At the end of the season, every grapefruit left is picked from the trees. 

How Are Rio Red Grapefruits Picked Off the Tree?

Machines have been built to harvest many vegetables, but using machinery to gather fruit damages both the fruit and the tree. Experienced harvesters picking the fruit by hand has been proven to be the best way to make sure the grapefruit is harvested at just the right time.

Pickers check the grapefruit’s size, color, and maturity to decide if it’s ready to be picked. If it’s time, grapefruit isn’t simply yanked off a tree — the best picking method is a pull, twist, and snap motion

Grapefruit Packing Standards

Grapefruit packers follow special rules to ensure that the produce arrives at the store safe and fresh. The fruit is cleaned to remove dirt, spray residue, and leftover stems that could cause damage or mold to grow while the grapefruit are in storage. Cool temperatures are also required to maintain peak freshness when the fruit is packed and stored. The optimal temperature ranges from 54 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level of 90 to 95%. 

Winter Sweetz Harvests Texas Ruby Red Grapefruits for Peak Freshness

Hand-picking Texas grapefruit at just the right time can make a world of difference in the sweetness and juicy taste. From the tree to your table, grapefruits can bring a healthy and delicious punch to many recipes

At Winter Sweetz, we work hard to make sure our grapefruit is perfect, from planting to harvesting to shipping to your local grocery store. We harvest and pack our grapefruit in the best way possible to make sure we can provide you with the sweetest and juiciest Texas red grapefruit around.

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