EDINA, Minn. — Lund Food Holdings ensures the quality of its fruit by using an instrument called a refractometer to learn the exact sugar content.
The refractometer can detect the sugar content, or Brix, in seconds. The user places a few drops of juice from a piece of fruit on the glass of the instrument. The cover is then closed and held up to the light. As Lund officials look through the scope, they 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% Brix.
“Sugar content is one of the first things we measure when inspecting many fruits,” produce manager Colin Lyons writes in a company blog. The U.S. Department of Agriculture sets standards on all melons when it comes to sugar. Lund requires vendors to go above the federal minimum standards.
“At Lunds and Byerly’s, we always want you to have the best possible eating experience on every piece of fruit from our stores,” according to Lyons.