Taiwan's Council of Agriculture has apologised for a batch of pineapples exported to Japan and Singapore that appeared to have "black" cores, Central News Agency (CNA) reported.
Will send more pineapples to Singapore under stricter controls
Taiwan's Minister of Council of Agriculture (COA) Chen Chi-chung said to make it up to consumers in Singapore, Taiwan will send another 12 tonnes (12,000 kg) of pineapples to NTUC FairPrice.
The supermarket chain has taken a portion of the produce off the shelves.
The shipping process for the pineapples, including temperature control, will be improved upon, he added.
Chen further said the pineapples were found to be unripened and lacked sweetness, with COA estimating that the fruits which were not up to standard amounted to around 166 tonnes (166,000kg).
The amount makes up less than 3 per cent of all pineapples that were exported to places besides China in March, he said.
"Black" cores caused by lack of temperature control during shipping
Chen claimed that the pineapples with the rotten cores were shipped in the same carton boxes that were used for export to China, which resulted in a failure to keep the fruits under controlled temperatures.
According to Focus Taiwan, the COA recommends Taiwanese pineapple suppliers to keep the fruits at a temperature range of 11 to 13 degrees Celsius throughout the shipping process until they reach store shelves, in line with the required procedure for cold shipping.
He said that from April onwards, should suppliers not improve shipping conditions in order to ensure the quality of the exported fruits, they would not receive air and sea shipping subsidies.
Chen also expressed his "deepest gratitude" to countries and regions that proactively bought pineapples from Taiwan, including Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Singapore has imported 25 tonnes (25,000kg) of pineapples from Taiwan following a Chinese ban on the import that kicked in on Mar. 1.
While China has cited pests as the reason, Taiwan countered by saying all of the pineapples exported to China in the past four months before the ban had been accepted, calling China's decision "unilateral" and "unacceptable".
China has rejected accusations that the ban was politically motivated.
Previously, a Japanese importer had recalled around 750 cartons of Taiwanese bananas distributed from Mar. 1 to Mar. 3, due to the detection of excessive amounts of fungicide, Focus Taiwan reported.
Taiwan's COA clarified that it was an isolated case and other exports to Japan were not affected.
Top image via Huang Weihan/Facebook