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Brix: Got Sugar?

Posted by by Colin Lyons, produce buyer
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

There is nothing like biting into a juicy spoonful of cantaloupe or a beautiful chunk of gold pineapple. The flavors can grab you and instantly take you back to wonderful memories or even forward to a place you want to be. For me, a wonderful piece of fruit can rival the finest of chocolates. As a kid, I can remember shoving as many grapes into my mouth as possible and crunching down all at once. It was a grape juice mess, but it was delicious!! The most important factor when eating many fruits is sugar. You know when it’s there, and you definitely know when it’s not!

Sugar content is one of the first things we measure when inspecting many fruits. With an instrument called a refractometer, we can discover the exact sugar content, or Brix, of any fruit in a matter of seconds. This refractometer is used by placing just a few drops of juice from a piece of fruit on to the glass. The cover is then closed and held up to the light. As you look through the scope, you see a scale and a corresponding line indicating the percentage of sugar in the juice. During the peak of the season, a sweet watermelon will range between 11 and 14 percent Brix.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sets standards on all melons when it comes to sugar. This protects the consumer against poor quality fruit. At Lunds and Byerly’s, we always want you to have the best possible eating experience on every piece of fruit from our stores. To achieve this, we let our vendors know that we expect more than the federal minimum standards. From the field to your table, from the grower to your produce manager, we understand what you want, and we strive to bring it to you every day.

Can anyone guess the Brix on a super sweet cantaloupe?


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