Pears are either packed right after harvest, or are stored in Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage. Pears are mature, but not yet ripe when harvested, and must undergo a ripening process called conditioning before they are packed so that they will ripen properly when consumers buy them. Pears are not pre-sized prior to packing due to their thin, delicate skin that bruises easily. At the time of packing, fruit are gently dumped out of bins onto the packing line. Fruit are rinsed, washed with food-grade detergent, and rinsed again. Next, they are run over a bed of brushes and fans, to dry completely. Trained personnel hand sort the fruit, removing any defective or decayed fruit from the line. Pears can also be sized and sorted with computer technology. Labels are placed on the fruit, indicating the grade, variety, and size, and then they are packed into boxes. This is done by hand and with automation. Boxes are palletized and put back into cold rooms where they wait for shipment.
Pear Handling Manual, An excellent resource from the Pear Bureau Northwest. (Accessed: 1/19/17).