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Vegetables and fruits grading systems
Vegetables and fruits grading systems

Vegetables and fruits grading systems

One of the main step after the harvest of vegetables and fruits is grading. Grading of produces is made on the basis of different physical characteristics and usually it is made by hand.

People are becoming more quality conscious each day, thus the grading of fresh fruits and vegetables is getting more and more important to ensure produce quality standards to the customers.

What is grading?

Grading of vegetables and fruits is the sorting into grades, depending on shape, size, volume and colour, in order to reach a better price in the market.

There are three different grades recognized on the international market: class II, class I, extra class.

Class II produces may show some internal or external defects and they are still good for consumption, while fresh. This kind of produces is fitting for short distance and local market and will fit the needs of those customers that consider price before quality and are not too demanding.

Class I vegetables have a quality that is comparable to extra class ones, except they are allowed a 10% tolerance. Each single piece can have a small defect in colour or shape, that must not impact too much on general appearance in order to keep quality level. Different size of single pieces doesn't require to rearrange the packaging.

Extra class products are the highest quality ones. They must have superior quality of shape and colours of the variety, flavor and inherent texture must not be affected by any defect. A 5% tolerance due to errors is allowed. Produces must be presented carefully, their colour and size uniformity must be taken into account in arranging them into packing material.

The advantages

The grading of vegetables and fruit brings a lot of advantages:

1. The customer that buy properly graded produces doesn't feel the need to perform any inspection. 2. The grading represents a sort of fairness to both sellers and customers. 3. By grading, contact with diseased specimens does not damage defected specimen, thus defected specimen can get a highest price. 4. Price losses due to substandard specimen or product presence can be avoided easily. 5. Grading allows to avoid high marketing cost in transportation and packing. 6. Grading gives enhanced product pricing. 7. Marketing efficiency is increased by facilitating selling and buying produces with no need of personal selection.

Fruit and vegetable grading

Fruits are generally graded considering variety, colour, gravity, weight, size. The predominant feature considered for fruit grading is size. Fruits are graded as extra large, large, medium and small. Maturity make fruits be graded as over mature, properly mature and immature. Maturity grading is the basis for determining shelf life and quality. Green chill, brinjal, bell pepper, okra, bitter gourd and other fruit vegetables are grouped into three different grades based on size: large, medium, small. Colour is the base to grade vegetables like tomatoes.


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