Fruit Math

The fruit at Central Market - by design - is always the freshest, ripest, biggest, and sweetest. We don’t always go into the list scientific factors that sets our produce apart from the rest, but when we do, you can be sure Brix measurements are high on said list. Have we lost you? Well, let’s back up a bit and talk about Brix. ...

The Brix scale is a formula used to determine the ripeness of the fruit. A telescope-like tool called a refractometer uses a tiny speck of the fruit’s juice to determine the sugar content of anything from apples to ugli fruit. What I have learned doing a bit of research is “When a refractometer is used, the Brix value can be obtained from the polynomial fit to the ICUMSA table: Bx = (((((11758.74*nD -88885.21)*nD + 270177.93)*nD – 413145.80)*nD + 318417.95)*nD -99127.4536) where nD is the refractive index, measured at the wavelength of the sodium D line (589.3 nm) at 20 °C.”

Whoa, get a load of that crazy formula! Did you know this much math went into your mangos?

Of course, we only focus on one thing around here: the taste. The higher the Brix number, the sweeter the fruit. It’s actually quite simple. Farmer’s markets will sometimes display the Brix numbers on their produce, but it is rare to see at conventional grocers. Central Market is one of the few who talk about it and advertise it, and that’s because our numbers are something to brag about.

High on the Brix topic of discussion at Central Market right now is the more than 1 1/2 truck loads of Washingtons State Sweetheart cherries that are arriving this weekend. They are weighing in at a whopping 20.5% – 22% points, great for cherries. The quality is outstanding this week with a great cherry flavor! These guys are going to pack quite a punch whether by themselves or in a slightly more adventurous recipe – so don’t miss out. And now that you know what Brix is all about, feel free to ask our Produce Partners about any of your favorite fruits. No need to memorize the formula, the true test is in the taste.