Learn the best ways for Grading and Sorting Fruits and Vegetables

Grading and sorting of fruits and vegetables
Grading and sorting of fruits and vegetables
This blog carries detailed information regarding the importance and graded and sorted fruits and vegetables. It will help you understand the general criteria for grading and sorting fruits and vegetables.

Agriculture is an important industry that contributes significantly to the country’s economic expansion. Fruit and vegetable production is one of the economic contributors to this industry. Quality is essential in the food processing industry. In the post-harvest treatment of agricultural goods, whether they are in their fresh state or not, sorting and grading are the primary activities. Grading and sorting can be thought of as a way to categorize fruits and vegetables based on their physical attributes, such as size, colour, weight, and texture, to increase their market worth.

Most of the time, farmers are unaware of the market segmentation of their products according to grades. Therefore they do not recognize the value of this activity. The grading, sorting, cleaning, and moisture content in the case of fruits and vegetables determine the prices of crops to be sold.

For instance, moisture content is a significant factor affecting crop prices in bananas. Every additional per cent of moisture causes a substantial drop in crop price.

Grading and sorting of fruits and vegetables
Grading and sorting of fruits and vegetables

Sorting

Sorting is the process of removing various fruit types from a fruit lot. It helps divide fruits and vegetables according to their form, weight, size, look, and colour. It separates healthy fruit from undesired things, including stones, leaves, and trash, as well as immature or decaying produce. Sorting eliminates produce that can’t be sold or stored because of mechanical damage, insect damage, disease damage, immature, over-mature, or deformed. Sorting can be done in the pack-houses or at the farm level.

Importance of sorted produce

  • Sorting ensures that only high-quality produce is sent forward for further processing or sale.
  • Separating contaminated produce from healthy produce prevents further contamination, which lowers losses.
  • Sorting increases the marketing efficiency of the produce.
Sorting of fruits and vegetables
Sorting of fruits and vegetables

Criteria for sorting fruits and vegetables

Damaged product:

The damaged products should be avoided. The healthy produce should be separated from the contaminated or damaged produce.

Diseases and insects:

Fruits and vegetables that are free of disease and insects should be selected from a lot. It’s necessary for sorting.

Mature fruits:

Fruit that has reached maturity is tasty. Therefore, ripeness is crucial for fruit.

Colour:

Colours must be luminous. Fruit with vibrant colours should be chosen since they draw customer’s attention better. The seed’s colour also reveals its amount of development.

Grading

Fruits and vegetables are typically graded according to their weight, size, colour, form, specific gravity, and lack of illness. Hand grading and machine grading are two ways of evaluating fruits and vegetables for fresh marketing. Produce is rated according to size in both approaches. On the other hand, electronic grading systems are gaining popularity in the horticultural industry and have been effectively applied in small-scale research. Even though the grading process is totally automated, India still uses manual grading. Smaller fruit falls through the chain on a conveyor belt with a bag at the end, simplifying the primary mechanism of mechanical grading.

Grading of fruits and vegetables
Grading of fruits and vegetables

Importance of graded products

  • The market offers reasonable rates for graded products.
  • Grading assists in the development of buyer and grower trust.
  • Increase marketing efficiency by purchasing and selling a product.
  • Grading helps farmers to get fair prices for their produce. Grading is the foundation for pricing and improves uniformity in a product of a certain grade.

 Criteria for Grading of Fruits and Vegetables

StandardsCriteria
Physical standardsWeight, size and shape
Technological standards Processing suitability or compatibility with existing equipment
Organoleptic standards Colour, flavour, texture, aroma, ripeness or freshness
Commercial standardsAttractiveness, utility, variety, and price 

Grading classification

Based on national, international, and state criteria, fruits and vegetables are often rated. Each nation has established its own criteria for various classes depending on the market’s demands. Extra class, Class I, and Class II are the three general grades considered for the international market.

Extra Class:

The extra class is of exceptional quality and exhibits the forms and colours of the variety, as well as being free of any internal flaws that could compromise the flavour and texture already there. Error tolerance is permitted to be 5%. It must be appropriately presented, taking into account the consistency of the produce in terms of size, colour, and condition, as well as the placement of the produce in the packaging and the quality and aesthetics of the packing or pre-packing material.

Class I:

Comparable in quality to Extra Class, except that a 10% error tolerance is permitted. Individual fruits can have minor shape, colour, and skin defects that do not influence the overall appearance for keeping qualities.

Class II:

As long as the product is fit for consumption while still fresh, it may have some outward or interior flaws. This type best serves the local or short-distance market. Customers who are not overly picky and for whom price is more essential than quality will be satisfied by this category.

Manual grading:

Some fruit and vegetable grading is done manually. For instance, apples can be evaluated through colour cards that carry out various grades related to surface proportions displaying fruit colour, corrosion, surface flaws, etc.

Different fruits and vegetables are graded on various grading criteria. According to weight, length, or diameter as appropriate, the various grades employed in some significant fruits are listed below.

Grapes
S.no Grade Berry size- Weight (g) of a Small BunchBerry size- Weight (g) of a Large bunch
1.Extra class150200 
2. Class I 100150 
3. Class II 75 100 

Pomegranate

S.noGradeWeight of fruit (g)Fruit diameter (mm)
1.A40090
2.B35080
3.C30070 
4.D25060
5.E20050
Apple
Serial number GradeFruit weight (g)Diameter of fruit(mm) 
1.A> 341> 80
2.B211-24076-80
3.C181-21071-75
4.D151-18066-70
5.E121-15061-65
6.F91-12056-60
Guava 
Serial numberGrade classificationFruit weight(g)Diameter of fruit(mm)
1.A> 350> 95
2.B251-35086-95
3.C201-25076-85
4.D151-20066-75
5.E101-15054-65
6.F61-10043-53

Standardization of products

Standardized grade specifications must be taken into account while grading agricultural products. Standardized grade specifications only exist if these requirements are the same from one location to another, from one time period to another, and only if both buyers and sellers accept them.

There are two types of standardized grade specifications: regional and national. The regional specification is used when these requirements only apply to a particular area. National conditions are those that apply universally across the entire nation.

For instance, “Agmark,” which is a national brand.

Conclusion

Fruit and vegetable grading has evolved into a need for international trade. Grading is crucial as it increases the grower’s income, enhances packaging and handling, and enhances the entire marketing system. Fruits are typically categorized according to size, with graded fruits being more popular in the export market. Grading can minimize transportation-related handling losses. A higher emphasis is placed on quality assessment in order to be responsive to market demand, which increases the need for better and more precise grading and sorting procedures.

Fasal is a One Stop Solution for Horticulture Farming

  • Fasal is a full-stack horticulture platform that allows farmers to track their crops from start to finish.
  • Fasal may assist farmers in selling their produce at higher rates by providing Sorting, Grading, Packaging, and Logistics services.
  • Precision agriculture is at the core of Fasal technology. Additionally, it offers farmers crop-, time-, and location-specific solutions that boost productivity.
  • Farmers may maintain higher-quality, more marketable food using the Fasal AI-based technology, which enables farmers to accurately track irrigation, soil, temperature, and canopy requirements for fruits and vegetables.
  • Fasal also assists farmers in grading horticulture products, ensuring that they embrace the quality standards for their output.

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