Citrus Inspection and Commodity Regulation
Citrus Inspection Program
The Citrus Inspection program benefits the agricultural industry and the consumer by assuring the quality and maturity of citrus products grown and/or packed in Ventura County. The citrus industry funds the inspection of citrus grown in Ventura County. Oranges are tested for the sugar content to assure that they meet minimum maturity standards. In a situation where the state declares a disaster due to temperatures below freezing, citrus fruits are inspected and cut at the Citrus Packinghouses. Freeze can damage citrus fruit due to the formation of ice crystals inside of the fruit. These crystals cause the fruit to dry out on the inside while still appearing undamaged on the outside. Agricultural Inspectors cut a sample number from each lot to check for freeze damage. Fruits which exhibit an unacceptable amount of damage may not be marketed and must either be destroyed or diverted to another acceptable use. This program is funded by the citrus industry from an assessment on each carton of fruit packed. Growers of citrus products in Ventura County want to make sure that consumers receive quality fruit in the market place so that they will be inclined to continue to buy and consume citrus products. Ventura County is one of the largest producers of lemons in the country. Citrus products of all kinds have been an important crop in Ventura County since the early 1900’s.
The Commissioner inspects fruits and vegetables for quality and labeling at wholesale and retail outlets, farm stands, and swap meets. Standards pertaining to quality are generally specific to the commodity grown. Regulations require that fruits and vegetables packed in the field be labeled with the identity of the grower or packer, the name of the commodity and the quantity in the carton or package. Commodities offered for sale at certified Farmer’s Markets may be exempt from this requirement.
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