-The key factors that determine the quality of cucumber are:
The uniformity of shape- If the shape for different cucumbers is irregular this could be interpreted as a defected caused disease or bacteria.
Firmness- The more firm a cucumber is the higher the quality otherwise if it's loose could be a sign of internal damage most likely physical damage.
Dark green color of the skin-Usually used to interpret the maturity of cucumber without any defect.
Size-If the cucumber is of the same type then they size during or after harvesting should be similar i.e pickles should be at least 25 cm long & not 10 cm.
Lacking yellowish color- yellowish color is an indication of rotting for prickles but for slicer is a sign of maturity.
-Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a widely cultivated plant. It is a creeping vine that bears cucumiform fruits that are used as vegetables. Cucumbers have different colors, for example, lemon cucumbers are yellow and round, resembling a lemon more than the common cucumber. Armenian cucumbers have a light green or yellow-green hue also there is Indian yellow cucumber although the most traded cucumbers are dark green.
-The fruit of typical cultivars of cucumber is roughly cylindrical, but elongated with tapered ends, and may be as large as 60 cm long and 10 cm in diameter. Cucumbers are firmness and crispness, also they are sweet except when they are a tad bitter & also depending on variety, cucumbers may have a mild melon aroma and flavor
-There are three main varieties of cucumber: slicing, pickling, Gherkin and Burpless(seedless). Within these varieties, several cultivars(hybrids) have been created. Most commercial cucumbers are hybrids from slicing & pickling varieties produced all over the world.
-The cucumber is originally from South Asia & has been cultivated in India for more than 3000 years & from there it spread to Greece, China, England & to the Americas but now grows on most continents. Many different types of cucumber are traded on the global market.
-Cucumber production globally is in 83,753,861 metric tonnes from 2.2 million hectares. the main producing countries are as follows: China-64,824,643 metric tons, Iran-1,981,130 metric tons, Russia-1,940,010 metric tons,Turkey-1,827,782 metric tons,United States-1,012,378 metric tons,Mexico-956,005 metric tons, Ukraine-896,280 metric tons,Uzbekistan-813,591 metric tons,Spain-634,824 metric tons,Japan-559,500 metric tons, Poland-543,726metric tons.
-There are two methods of harvesting cucumbers: Handpicked & Machine harvesting.
-Handpicking is done with a knife or a pair of shears whereas machine harvesting is done by CH model cucumber harvester, harvesting up to 60 tons per hour.
-Harvest regular slicing cucumbers when they about 6 to 8 inches long (slicing varieties).
-Harvest dills(seedless) at 4 to 6 inches long and pickles at 2 inches long for pickles.
-The large burpless cucumbers can be up to 10 inches long and some types are even larger.
-Cucumbers are best picked before their seeds become hard and are eaten when immature. A cucumber is of the highest quality when it is uniformly green, firm, and crisp.
-Any cucumbers left on the vine too long will also get tough skins, turns yellow and lower plant productivity.
-Cucumbers are mostly consumed in the culinary industry due to a lot of health benefits associated with the vegetable such as:
-High nutrients. Have low calories but rich in vitamins, minerals & high water content.
-Antioxidants. This helps to reduce the risks of chronic illness.
-Promotes hydration because 96% of cucumber content is water.
-Helps in weight loss. A 300 g cucumber contains only 45 calories & the high water content.
-Promotes body regulator. Since cucumber contains high water content hence promote hydration. Staying hydrated can improve stool consistency, prevent constipation and help maintain regularity.