Please see attached photos. We are a small food processing plant, and recently it came to my attention some of the carrots we have been purchasing have been having a problem where the heads are turning a dark green/brown coloration. The skin on them also turn dark after processing. There is no slimy or any textural difference to the rest of the carrots, and to the touch they are still completely firm with no give or sign of rot. These are fresh from the distributor, and properly stored in coolers, we source and use fresh vegetables so these do not sit in the coolers for prolonged periods at all.
Just to give more information, our procedure is 1) automatic friction peeler, 2) fresh water rinse, 3) chlorine wash at 200PPM concentration (verified) with contact time of ≈15 seconds, 4) two additional fresh water rinse cycles, 5) carrot chopper.
You can see in the upper photo, after chopping the outer layer of the skin is already starting to turn dark for unidentified reason. Again, our process is rapid and our processing room is air conditioned. There is no slime or decay, but this batch of carrots has been discoloring unusually like this.
My questions are: what is the cause? Is there a food safety impact or is this a quality / aesthetic issue? What are some methods to combat this from happening?