Produce Wash Formulation for Sooty Blotch/Flyspeck
September 08, 2022 06:22PM
OK, so I don't know if this should fall under the Sensible Equipment section, and I know that washing sooty blotch and fly speck off apples is featured in other related threads. But this is my favorite section, apparently, and I'm going to put this here for now, Mr. Moderator, since I'm looking for a product, whether commercial or farm recipe. We have a few varieties of apples that get sb/fs so bad that they are rendered completely charcoal to the point that you can't even tell if you're looking at a red or yellow or green apple. But they may be top quality otherwise, and so, we have historically put in a lot of elbow grease rubbing and scrubbing to take some of the bloom off. But with as many apples as we have coming in now, we just can't spend hours on a bushel anymore, and a purchased or farm-built apple washer may be in our future.

In the meantime, however, I'm curious to know if anyone has ever hit upon a formulation or recipe for cleaning off sb/fs beyond bleach water. Think of it: why worry about applications specifically preventing sb/fs if we can just wash it off post-harvest? In our experience, bleach water helps only minimally and its efficacy is still pretty dependent on how much elbow grease you're willing to put in. I'm wanting to find/come up with something that you can soak apples in and then spray sb/fs right off (sort of a holy grail, I know, but come on, it's got to be possible). In the past, I've tried Veggie Wash (no better than bleach water) and even a post-harvest soak of PerCarb, hoping the baking soda-like cleaning action would do a lot work for me (that was an expensive trial -- I would say it works better than bleach water, but nowhere near good enough to justify its expensive use).

I'm planning to trial a number of different produce washes to see if anything works better than average. For the heck of it, I even tried regular Krud Kutter (they make a food safe preparation, but say specifically not to use it on fresh fruit and veggies, only food prep surfaces), and was shocked to find that it wouldn't take sb/fs off much better than bleach. We use Krud Kutter on everything, would not be surprised to find it cures cancer, aids in the regrowth of ambutated limbs, etc., so yes, disappointed. The next product I intend to try is Fit Organic Produce Wash, since it specifically touts removal of wax on fruit and sounds pretty tenacious; it also can be bought in bulk.

If anyone has come up with a concoction one can mix up on-farm, so much the better, and thank you.

Kordick Family Farm
Westfield, NC
Zone 7a

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2022 02:24AM by Brittany Kordick.
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