In all classes, subject to the special provisions for each class and the tolerances allowed, bunches and berries must be:
— sound; produce affected by rotting or deterioration such as to make it unfit for consumption is excluded.
Table grapes must be free from disease or serious deterioration which appreciably affects their appearance, edibility or market value. In particular, this excludes table grapes affected by rotting, even if the signs are very slight but liable to make the table grapes unfit for consumption upon arrival at their destination. Table grapes showing the following defects are therefore excluded:
- clean and practically free of any visible foreign matter.
Table grapes must be practically free of visible soil, dust, chemical residue or other foreign matter. However, as it is not possible to clean the berries of table grapes before eating, chemical residue, soil, dust, sooty mould or pollution by mealy bug secretion is not allowed. ➩ photos 14 to 15
— practically free from pests.
Table grapes must be free of insects or other pests. The presence of pests can detract from the commercial presentation and acceptance of the table grapes. ➩ photos 16 to 17
— practically free from damage caused by pests.
Pest damage can detract from the general appearance and affect the keeping quality and edibility of the table grapes. ➩ photo 18
— free of abnormal external moisture.
This provision applies to excessive moisture, for example free water lying inside the package, but does not include condensation on produce following release from cool storage or refrigerated vehicle.
— free of any foreign smell and/or taste.
This provision applies to table grapes stored or transported under poor conditions, which have consequently resulted in their absorbing smells and/or tastes, in particular through the proximity of other product which give off volatile odours.
In addition, berries must be:
Berries must not have any damage or injury spoiling the integrity of the produce. ➩ photo 9
— well formed.
— normally developed.
Dried (black or brown berries) and shot berries (underdeveloped berries) are not allowed. ➩ photos 19 to 20
Pigmentation due to sun is not a defect.Berries of white varieties exposed to sunlight turn yellow and may show pigmentation on the skin only. ➩ photo 21
Spots of sunscorch that deteriorate the skin and may affect the flesh are not allowed. ➩ photos 22 to 23
Bunches must have been carefully picked.
Harvesting operations need to take into account the fragility of the fruit and the fact that the slightest damage may lead to deterioration. It is vital to avoid applying any pressure. During the harvest the skin of the grapes should, wherever possible, be dry. Bunches should be handled as little as possible to keep the bloom intact. These precautions relate to picking as well as to all other stages when handling the produce.
The bunches must be sufficiently developed and display satisfactory ripeness.
With respect to a sufficient development are the following defects excluded:
a) “thin” (straggly) bunches, i.e. with berries too far apart on the stalk or with too few berries.
b) “unevenly developed” bunches, i.e. with «shot» berries resulting from insufficient pollination. The “shot” berries are usually seedless in those varieties that normally develop seeds. They may be entirely green and hard or mature and colour uniformly with the normal berries. ➩ photo 20
development and condition of the table grapes must be such as to enable them:
— to withstand transport and handling, and
— to arrive in satisfactory condition at the place of destination.
Table grapes must be fully developed, with adequate maturity and ripeness. As a result, the grapes must have reached a Brix level of at least 16°.
Fruit with a lower index is acceptable if the sugar-to-acid ratio is equal to or greater than:
If the Brix level is greater than or equal to 12.5° and less than 14° Brix, the ratio is 20:1.
If the Brix level is greater than or equal to 14° Brix but less than 16° Brix, the ratio is 18:1.
Table grapes are classified in three classes, as defined below:
I. “Extra” Class
Table grapes in this class must be of superior quality. In shape, development and colouring, the bunches must be typical of the variety, allowing for the district in which they are grown, and have no defects.
The table grapes must be very carefully presented. ➩ photos 1 to 4 and 38.
Berries must be firm, firmly attached, evenly spaced along the stalk and have their bloom virtually intact.
Slight traces of missing bloom due to handling are allowed.
II. Class I
Table grapes in this class must be of good quality. In shape, development and colouring the bunches must be typical of the variety, allowing for the district in
which they are grown.
Although the Class I quality requirements are less strict than for “Extra” Class, Class I table grapes must, nevertheless, be carefully selected and presented. ➩ photo 39
Berries must be firm, firmly attached and, as far as possible, have their bloom intact. They may, however, be less evenly spaced along the stalk than in the “Extra” Class.
Traces of missing bloom due to handling are allowed. ➩ photo 25
The following slight defects, however, may be allowed provided these do not affect the general appearance of the produce, the quality, the keeping quality, and presentation in the package:
— slight defects in shape. ➩ photos 26 to 27
Slight defects in shape may be due to the fact that the berries are less evenly spaced along the stalk.
— slight defects in colouring. ➩ photo 28
— very slight sunscorch affecting the skin only. ➩ photo 29
This class includes table grapes which do not qualify for inclusion in the higher classes but satisfy the minimum requirements specified above.
Table grapes in this class must be of marketable quality, suitably presented and suitable for human consumption. ➩ photo 40
The bunches may show defects in shape, development and colouring, provided these do not impair the essential characteristics of the variety, allowing for the district in which they are grown.
The berries must be sufficiently firm and sufficiently attached, and where possible, still have their bloom. They may be less evenly spaced along the stalk than in Class I.
The following defects are allowed provided the table grapes retain their essential characteristics as regards the quality, the keeping quality and presentation:
— defects in shape. ➩ photos 30 to 32ss evenly spaced along the stalk.
— defects in colouring. ➩ photo 33— slight sunscorch affecting the skin only. ➩ photos 34 to 35
— slight bruising.
Slight bruising is allowed provided it does not affect the pulp.
— slight skin defects. ➩ photos 36 to 37
III. PROVISIONS CONCERNING SIZING
Size is determined by the weight of the bunch.
The following minimum size requirements per bunch are defined for table grapes grown
under glass and for open-grown table grapes, small berry varieties listed in the annex
or other varieties respectively.
IV. PROVISIONS CONCERNING TOLERANCES
Tolerances in respect of quality and size shall be allowed in each package for produce not satisfying the requirements of the class indicated.
Tolerances are provided to allow for human error during the grading and packing process.
During grading and sizing it is not permitted to deliberately include out of grade produce, i.e. to exploit the tolerances deliberately.
The tolerances are determined after examining each sample package and taking the average of all samples examined. The tolerances are stated in terms of percentage, by weight, of produce in the total sample not conforming to the class indicated on the package
A. Quality tolerances
i) “Extra” Class
5 per cent by weight of bunches not satisfying the requirements of the class, but meeting those of Class I or, exceptionally, coming within the tolerances of that class.
ii) Class I
10 per cent by weight of bunches not satisfying the requirements of the class but meeting those of Class II or, exceptionally, coming within the tolerances of that class.
iii) Class II
10 per cent by weight of bunches satisfying neither the requirements of the class nor the minimum requirements, with the exception of produce affected by rotting or any other deterioration rendering it unfit for consumption.
B. Size tolerances
i) “Extra” Class and Class I
10 per cent by weight of bunches not satisfying the size requirements of the class, but meeting those of the class immediately below.
ii) Class II
10 per cent by weight of bunches not satisfying the size requirements of the class but weighing not less than 75 g.
iii) For all classes
In each package for direct sale to the consumer not exceeding 1 kg net weight, one bunch weighing less than 75 g is allowed to adjust the weight, provided the bunch meets all other requirements of the specified class.
Absolute minimum weight tolerated: