7 CFR § 51.312 - Mature.
“Mature” means that the apples have reached the stage of development which will insure the proper completion of the ripening process. Before a mature apple becomes overripe it will show varying degrees of firmness, depending upon the stage of the ripening process. The following terms are used for describing different stages of firmness of apples:
(a) “Hard” means apples with a tenacious flesh and starchy flavor.
(b) “Firm” means apples with a tenacious flesh but which are becoming crisp with a slightly starchy flavor, except the Delicious variety.
(c) “Firm ripe” means apples with crisp flesh except that the flesh of the Gano, Ben Davis, and Rome Beauty varieties may be slightly mealy.
(d) “Ripe” means apples with mealy flesh and soon to become soft for the variety.