Proposed changes to grades and requirements for asparagus
This document was part of the public consultation on the Proposed changes to the Canadian Grade Compendium: Volume 2 – Fresh Fruit or Vegetables. Each phase of the consultation will focus on a group of fresh fruit or vegetables and will be open for a 60-day period.
The consultation for Phase 2 ran from December 10, 2021 to February 11, 2022.
Grades and Requirements for Asparagus
91. The grades and requirements set out in sections 92 to 95 apply only to green-coloured asparagus of varieties grown from Asparagus officinalis.
Grades and Grade Names
92. The grades and grade names for asparagus are Canada No. 1 and Canada No. 2.
Requirements for All Grades
93. In addition to the requirements for each grade and subject to the general tolerances set out in section 96, asparagus of all grades must
- (a) be properly packaged;
- (b) have not more than 15% of each stalk coloured white;
- (c) be trimmed so that the butts of the stalks are squarely, smoothly and evenly cut and are free from stringy or frayed ends;
- (d) have stalks of a minimum diameter of 8 mm (5/16 inch) except when diameter grading designations are used in accordance with paragraph 94 (c);
- (e) have stalks of a minimum length of 140 mm (5 ½ inches); and
- (f) be free from decay.
Canada No. 1 Grade Requirements
94. In addition to meeting the requirements for all grades set out in section 93, asparagus graded Canada No. 1 must
- (a) be fresh;
- (b) be free from stalks having tips that are broken or spreading, or that have a seedy appearance;
- (c) use in addition to the grade name, one of the designations set out in subparagraphs (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv), if the asparagus is marketed as diameter graded as determined according to the diameter of the asparagus stalks,
- (i) "Slim", if the asparagus stalks have a diameter of less than 8 mm (5/16 inch);
- (ii) "Medium", if the asparagus stalks have a minimum diameter of 12 mm (8/16 inch) and a maximum diameter of 17 mm (11/16 inch);
- (iii) "Large", if the asparagus stalks have a minimum diameter of 17 mm (11/16 inch) and a maximum diameter of 22 mm (14/16 inch); and
- (iv) "Jumbo", if the asparagus stalks have a minimum diameter of 22 mm (14/16 inch);
- (d) if prepackaged, have stalks that vary by not more than 38 mm (1 ½ inches) in length; and
- (e) be free from any other damage, defect or combination of damage and defects that materially affects the appearance, edibility or shipping quality of the asparagus.
Canada No. 2 Grade Requirements
95. In addition to meeting the requirements for all grades set out in section 93, asparagus graded Canada No. 2 must be free from any damage or defect or combination of damage or defects that seriously affects the appearance, edibility or shipping quality of the asparagus.
96. (1) In the grading of asparagus, the requirements set out in sections 94 and 95, as applicable, are considered to be met if
- (a) not more than 10%, by count, of the asparagus in a lot inspected at the time of shipping or repackaging have defects, not including trimming but including not more than
- (i) 1% that is affected by decay, and
- (ii) 5% that has the same defect other than decay and those with a separate tolerance prescribed under paragraph (c);
- (b) not more than 10% by count of the asparagus in a lot inspected at a time other than at the time of shipping or repackaging has defects, not including trimming but including not more than 5% that has the same permanent defect; and
- (c) in either of the cases referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b), not more than
- (i) 10% by count of the asparagus in the lot fails to meet the diameter or length requirements for the grade,
- (ii) 10%, by count, of the asparagus in the lot fails to meet the trimming requirement, and
- (iii) 10% of the packages contain stalks that exceed the maximum length variation for the grade.
(2) Condition defects apply against the grade of a lot of asparagus only when the lot is inspected at the time of shipping or repackaging.
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