Appendix II - Standards for grades of dried apricots
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1. Definition of the product
These standards refer to apricots dried (naturally) or dehydrated, obtained from mature fruits, botanical name: Prunus Armeniaca L.
2. General quality requirements
In all categories, dried apricots must be:
2.1 Whole (with or without kernel) or halves;
2.2 Healthy and especially without mould, without visible evidence of attack by insects or by other parasites and without living insects in any stage of development;
2.3 Clean, without any visible foreign matter;
2.4 Without foreign smell (*) and / or flavour;
2.5 Fleshy, with an elastic and flexible pulp.
The moisture content must not be over 20%. However, at the request of customer, moisture content could be in the range of 20-25% or 25-30%, with the reserve of special processing treatment utilisation (for assuring shelf-life) and mentions in the section "Marks" .
The manufacturing and state of dried apricots should be such to enable them to support transport and handling and assure their arrival in good conditions to the delivery point.
The dried apricots are graded as follows:
3.1 "Extra category": Dried apricots shipped under this category must be of superior quality. If the product is whole, it must be without kernel. The colour has to be characteristic to the product and homogenous (colour "apricot") without any part which are black, discoloured or with texture defects. The halves must have a clean / net cutting (by knife).
3.2 "Category I": Dried apricots shipped under this category must be of good quality. If the product is whole, must be without kernel. The colour has to be characteristic to the apricots. Tolerance: slight appearance or colour defects (discoloured) and small cuttings of skin but with the condition that all these defects have no impact on product appearance, quality or shelf life.
3.3 Category II: This category covers dried apricots which cannot be classified in superior categories but are according to the minimum requirements defined in section 2. If the product is whole, it could be with kernel. Appearance and colour defects (spots, brown parts but without darkening of fruits) and slight damages of the skin are accepted with the condition that the finished product keeps its characteristics.
4. Size grading
The size grading is determined by the number of fruits per pound:
|Very big||Less than 50||Less than 100|
|Very small||More than 90||More than 180|
The size grading is mandatory for dried apricots in category "Extra" and "Category I" and has to be mentioned in section "Marks".
5.1 Category Extra: 5 % in weight of fruits not answering to the quality specifications for this category but in conformity with those of "Category I".
5.2 Category I: 10% in weight of fruits not answering to the quality requirements for this category but being in conformity with those of "Category II".
A maximum 0.5% in number of fruits having traces of mould or fermentation or containing dead insects or other parasites is also tolerated.
5.3 Category II: 15% in weight of fruits not answering to the quality specifications for this category but being in conformity with the minimum requirements defined in section 2. A maximum 1% number of fruits with moulds or fermentation or containing dead insects or other parasites is also tolerated.
The presence of any living insect or parasite is NOT tolerated, in any of their biological cycles.
In all categories, a tolerance is accepted for size grading - 10% in weight of fruits in each pack - in conformity with size from immediately superior and / or inferior size grade identified.
Tolerance in moisture level. - It is accepted a variation of 1% more or less as compared to the level indicated in section "Marks".
The content of each shipping or consumer pack must be homogenous and must contain only dried apricots of same origin, quality and size. The visible part of the pack must be representative of all the content.
The content of each shipping or consumer pack must be protected against any external or internal deterioration / damages. The packing and material must be new, clean, free from any foreign body, according to the specifications, in line with consumer requirements.
All packages of dried apricots must bear:
8.1 Indication as to contents and their origin: (country of origin name) Dried Apricots;
8.2 Indication as to the category: Extra, I or II;
8.3 Indication as to size grade: very big, big, medium, small or very small and type: wholes or halves;
8.4 The packer's mark as specified by local authorities;
These indications must be made clearly and legibly by means of indelible ink or branded outside the package in letters of 2 cm height;
8.5 Indication as to the moisture content, if above 20%, i.e. "Moisture content 20-25 % " or "Moisture content 25-30%";
8.6 Indication as to the net weight of the package.
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