Authorities destroy over three tonnes of unripe durians in Uttaradit

Image courtesy of Khaosod

Authorities in Uttaradit Province ordered the destruction of over three tonnes of unripe durians intended for export to China. The move followed complaints from the owner of a packing plant who suspected that substandard durians were mixed with quality ones, potentially damaging the country’s reputation.

Today, the inspection team led by Police Major General Sutthipong Pektong, Superintendent of Uttaradit Provincial Police, conducted a thorough inspection of a packing plant in Huadong, Laplae District. They were joined by a special task force aimed at eradicating the sale of unripe durians.

The inspection was prompted by a request for cooperation to verify the quality of over three tonnes of Monthong durians that were ready for export to China.

Concerns were raised that hired cutters and graders might have mixed unripe durians with mature ones, which would greatly compromise the export quality.

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Upon investigation, the task force discovered that the packing plant owner had purchased durians from an orchard in Phitsanulok Province. The owner had hired cutters and graders to process the durians according to export standards.

However, the inspection revealed that unripe durians were indeed mixed with mature ones. As a result, all the durians were seized and subjected to a quality check to determine their maturity according to scientific standards.

Unmet standards

The plant owner and the hired cutters were summoned and briefed on the stringent measures against substandard durians. The quality standard for Monthong durians dictates a starch content of at least 32%. The sampled durians in this batch showed starch levels between 28% and 31%.

Consequently, the authorities ordered the durians to be destroyed by marking them with spray paint to prevent them from being sold.

The packing plant owner, Yuwanat, expressed his frustration, stating that the batch of over three tonnes of Monthong durians had been purchased for over 300,000 baht. He had relied on a professional team to cut and grade the durians, expecting them to meet export standards.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Sutthipong mentioned that Laplae District, known for its durian cultivation, attracts many out-of-province operators who lease land to set up packing plants in Uttaradit and neighbouring areas.

The problematic batch was not locally grown but was sourced from outside the district, where durians were mixed and cut about two weeks prematurely, resulting in substandard quality and their destruction.

For the 2024 season, Uttaradit Province expects to produce approximately 30,000 tonnes of Monthong durians for export, potentially generating over 4 billion baht in revenue.

To tackle this growing trend, a special task force has been established to conduct random quality checks at the provincial, district, and market levels, aiming to prevent and raise awareness among growers about the importance of maintaining quality and harvesting durians at the right maturity for sale, reported Khaosod.

Thailand News

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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