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UNECE STANDARD DDP-17

concerning the marketing and

commercial quality control of
CASHEW KERNELS

2002 EDITION


UNITED NATIONS

New York and Geneva, 2002



NOTE
Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards

The commercial quality standards developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards help facilitate international trade, encourage high-quality production, improve profitability and protect consumer interests. UNECE standards are used by Governments, producers, traders, importers and exporters, and other international organizations. They cover a wide range of agricultural products, including fresh fruit and vegetables, dry and dried produce, seed potatoes, meat, cut flowers, eggs and egg products.

Any member of the United Nations can participate, on an equal footing, in the activities of the Working Party. For more information on agricultural standards, please visit our website <www.unece.org/trade/agr>.

The new Standard for Dates is based on document TRADE/WP.7/1999/7/Add.5, reviewed and adopted by the Working Party at its fifty-fifth session.

The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the United Nations Secretariat concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Mention of company names or commercial products does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.

All material may be freely quoted or reprinted, but acknowledgement is requested.

Please contact us at the following address with any comments or enquiries:

Agricultural Standards Unit

Trade and Timber Division

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Palais des Nations

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

E-mail: agristandards@unece.org

UNECE Standard DDP-17

concerning the marketing and commercial quality control of
Cashew Kernels

I. DEFINITION OF PRODUCE
This standard applies to cashew kernels obtained by heating, shelling and peeling the true fruits of the cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale Linneaus). It does not apply to cashew kernels for further processing.1
(a) Whole: whole kernels of characteristic shape.2 The presence of a small hole at the proximal end of the kernel or a central split or crack is not considered a defect.
(b) Brokens: Kernels where one eighth or more of the original kernel is broken off. Designations of brokens as follows:
(i) Butts: Kernels of not less than 3/8th of a whole kernel which have been broken crosswise but the cotyledons are still naturally attached.
(ii) Splits: Kernels split lengthwise naturally.
(iii) Pieces: Kernels which have broken into more than two pieces.

II. PROVISIONS CONCERNING QUALITY
The purpose of the standard is to define the quality requirements of cashew kernels at the export control stage after preparation and packaging.


  1. Minimum requirements

(i) In all classes subject to the special provisions for each class, and the tolerances allowed, the cashew kernels must be:


- sound; produce affected by rotting or deterioration such as to make it unfit for consumption is excluded;

- sufficiently developed;

- clean, practically free from any visible foreign matter;

- free from insects or mites whatever their stage of development;

- free from visible damage by insects, mites or other parasites;

- free from mould;

- free of any rancidity;

- free from adhering testa or shell liquid;

- free of foreign smell and/or taste.
The condition of the cashew kernels must be such as to enable them:
- to withstand transport and handling; and

- to arrive in satisfactory condition at the place of destination.


(ii) Moisture content
Cashew kernels shall have a moisture content of not greater than 5%.3

B. Classification

Cashew kernels are classified in three classes defined below.4


(i) "Extra" class
Cashew kernels in this class must be of superior quality. They must be characteristic of the variety and/or commercial type. Their colour should be white, pale ivory, pale ash-grey or light yellow and should be uniform.
They must be practically free from defects with the exception of very slight superficial defects provided that these do not affect the general appearance of the produce, the quality, the keeping quality or its presentation in the package.
(ii) Class I
Cashew kernels in this class must be of good quality. They must be characteristic of the variety and/or commercial type. Their colour may be of light brown, light ivory, yellow, light ash-grey or deep ivory as a result of overheating.
(iii) Class II
This class includes cashew kernels which do not qualify for inclusion in the higher classes, but which satisfy the minimum requirements specified above. Immature and speckled kernels are permitted provided they do not affect the characteristic shape of the kernel. Their colour may be light or deep brown, amber, light or deep blue. The kernels may be discoloured and black spotted.


III. PROVISIONS CONCERNING SIZING

Kernels are classified by style as follows:


(a) Whole: Sizing is compulsory in "extra class", but optional for "class I" and "class II". Designation of sizes of whole kernels are as follows:
Size Designation Number of kernels per Kg
150 265-325

180 326-395

210 395-465

240 485-530

280 575-620

320 660-706

400 707-880

450 881-990

500 990-1100
(b) Brokens:
Designations of sizes of pieces are as follows:
Designation Characteristic
Large pieces: not passing through a sieve of aperture 4.75mm
Small pieces:5 passing through a sieve of aperture 4.75mm but not passing through a sieve of aperture 2.80mm.
Very Small Pieces: 6 7 passing through a sieve of aperture 2.80mm but not passing through a sieve of aperture 2.36mm.
"Baby bits" or "granules": Plemules and fragments of kernels passing through a sieve of aperture 2.80mm but not passing through a sieve of aperture 1.70mm.

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.
A. Quality tolerances




Permitted defects a


Tolerances allowed per cent by weight of kernels


Extra


Class I


Class II

Total tolerances


8

11

14

Superficial damage

1

2

5

Immature or shrivelled (deformed)

1

2

5

Coloured kernels of next lower grade (NLG)

5

7.5

- a


Speckled or spotted(black or brown)


0.5

0.5

- b


Presence of testa


1

1

5

Insect damage

0.5

0.5

1

Mouldy, rancid or rotten

0.0

0.5 c

1 c


Foreign matter


0.05

0.05

0.05



a The definition of the defects are listed in Annex III to this document.

b No limit (see Classification for Class II).

c For brokens, rancidity is to be determined as free fatty acid and/or peroxide value. The maximum tolerated for free fatty acid is 1% (expressed as oleic acid) and for peroxide, the maximum tolerated is 5 meq/kg (milliequivalents of oxygen per kilogram), both on the basis of extracted oil.

B. Mineral Impurities
Acid insoluble ash must not exceed 1g/kg
C. Size tolerances
For "whole" kernels that have been size graded, the quantity of kernels of next lower size grade (NLSG) shall not exceed 5% by weight for "extra class", and 7.5% by weight for "class I" and "class II" at the time of packing. For all "whole" kernels, whether or not size graded, the quantity of brokens or pieces for "extra class", "class I" and "class II" shall not exceed 5% by weight at the time of packing.
For "butts" and "splits" the quantity of pieces present for "extra class", "class I" and "class II" shall not exceed 5% by weight at the time of packing.
For "pieces" grades, the quantity of pieces of the next lower pieces size designation for "extra class" shall not exceed 5% by weight of "extra class", and for "class I", and "class II" by 7.5% by weight.

V. PROVISIONS CONCERNING PRESENTATION
A. Uniformity
The contents of each package (or lot for each package presented in bulk) must be uniform and contain cashew kernels of the same origin, quality and size (if sized).
The visible part of the contents of the package (or lot for each package presented in bulk) must be representative of the entire contents. For "extra" class and "class I", the kernels must be of the same variety and/or commercial type.
B. Packaging
Cashew kernels must be packed in such a way as to protect the produce properly, usually in hermitically sealed containers, either as rigid metal cans or flexible packs with barrier properties, under an inert gas or vacuum. The use of materials, particularly paper or stamps bearing trade specifications is allowed provided the printing or the labelling has been done with non-toxic ink or glue. The use of lead solder is not permitted.
C. Presentation
Cashew kernels may be presented:
- in small packages for direct sale to the consumer;8

- bulk packages e.g. 11.34 kilogramme cans flexible packs etc.



VI. PROVISIONS CONCERNING MARKING

Each package or case (for small retail packs) must bear the following particulars in letters grouped on the same side, legibly and indelibly marked and visible from the outside:



A. Identification

Packer ) Name and address or

and/or ) officially issued or

Dispatcher ) accepted code mark 9



B. Nature of Produce
- "Cashew kernels", if the contents not visible from outside

- Name of the variety and/or commercial type


C. Origin of produce
Country of origin and, optionally, district where grown or national, regional or local place name
D. Commercial specification
- Class ("extra", class I or class II or alternative acceptable designations as described in Annex II)

- Style ("whole", "butts", "splits" or "pieces")

- Size designation (if sized)

- Crop year (optional)

- Net weight, or the number of package units, followed by the net weight in the case of packages containing such units.
E. Official control mark (optional)
Adopted 1999

Inclusion of new Annex I 2002


ANNEX I

DETERMINATION OF THE MOISTURE CONTENT FOR DRY PRODUCE (NUTS)




METHOD 1 - LABORATORY REFERENCE METHOD



1. Scope and application
This reference method serves to determine the moisture and volatile matter content for both inshell nuts and shelled nuts (kernels).
2. Reference
This method is based on the method prescribed by ISO: ISO 665-2000 Oilseeds - Determination of moisture and volatile matter content.
3. Definition
Moisture content and volatile matter content for dry produce (inshell nuts and shelled nuts): loss in mass measured under the operating conditions specified in ISO 665-2000 for oilseeds of medium size (see point 7.3 of ISO 665-2000). The moisture content is expressed as mass fraction, in percent, of the mass of the initial sample.
For whole nuts, when moisture content is expressed both on the whole nut and on the kernel, in cases of dispute between the two values, the moisture content value of the whole nut takes precedence.
4. Principle
Determination of the moisture and volatile matter content of a test portion by drying at 103 ± 2º C in an

oven at atmospheric pressure, until practically constant mass is reached.


5. Apparatus (see ISO 665-2000 for more details)
5.1 Analytical balance sensitive to 1 mg or better.
5.2 Mechanical mill.


    1. 3 mm round-holes sieve.




    1. Glass, porcelain or non-corrosive metal containers, provided with well-fitting lids, allowing the test portion to be spread to about 0.2 g/cm 2 (approximately 5 mm height).

5.5 Electric oven with thermostatic control capable of being regulated between 101 and 105º C in normal operation.

5.6 Desiccator containing an effective desiccant.
6. Procedure
Follow the operating conditions as specified in ISO 665-2000 for oilseeds of medium size (point 7 and 7.3 of ISO 665-2000), but with the following specific modifications, concerning the preparation of the test sample.

Although ISO 665-2000 sets up one initial period of 3 hours in the oven set at 103 ± 2º C, for nuts it is recommended one initial period of 6 hours.


6.a Determination of the moisture and volatile matter content of kernels:

For shelled nuts, homogenize the laboratory sample and take a minimum of 100 g of kernels as a test sample.


For inshell nuts, take a minimum of 200 g and, using a nutcracker or hammer, remove the shells and fragments or particles of shell, using the rest as a test sample. The kernel skin (cuticle or spermoderm) is included in the test sample.
Grind and sieve the test sample until the size of the particles obtained is no greater than 3 mm. During the grinding operation, care should be taken to avoid the production of a paste (oily flour), the overheating of the sample and the consequent loss of moisture content (for example, if using a mechanical food chopper, by successive very short grinding and sieving operations).
Spread evenly over the base of the vessel about 10 g of the ground product as a test portion, replace the lid, and weigh the whole vessel. Carry out two determinations on the same test sample.
6.b Determination of moisture and volatile matter content on whole nuts (shell plus kernel):
Homogenize the laboratory sample and take a minimum of 200 g of nuts as a test sample. Remove all the foreign matter (dust, stickers, etc.) from the test sample.
Grind the whole nuts using either a Rass Mill, a Romer Mill or a Brabender apparatus or similar, without overheating the product.
Spread evenly over the base of the vessel about 15 g of the ground product as a test portion, replace the lid, and weigh the whole vessel. Carry out two determinations on the same test sample.
7. Expression of results and test report
Follow all the instructions as specified in ISO 665-2000 (point 9 and 11) for method of calculation and formulae, and for test report, without any modification. 10

8. Precision
For conditions of repeatability and reproducibility apply specifications of ISO 665-2000 (point 10.2 and 10.3) for soya beans.


METHOD 2: RAPID METHOD



1. Principle
Determination of the moisture content using a measuring apparatus based on the principle of loss of mass by heating. The apparatus should include a halogen or infra-red lamp and a built-in analytical balance, calibrated according to the laboratory method.
The use of apparatus based on the principle of electrical conductivity or resistance, as Moisture Meters, Moisture Testers and similar, is also allowed always at condition that the apparatus has to be calibrated according with the laboratory reference method for the tested product.
2. Apparatus
2.1 Mechanical mill or food chopper.
2.2 3 mm round-holes sieve (unless indicated otherwise by the instructions for use of the apparatus.
2.3 Halogen or infrared lamp with built-in analytical balance sensitive to 1 mg or better.
3. Procedure
3.1 Preparation of sample
Follow the same instructions as given for the laboratory reference method (points 6.a and 6.b), unless indicated otherwise by the instructions for use of the apparatus, particularly with regard to the diameter of the fragments.
3.2 Determination of moisture content
Carry out the determination on two test portions of approximately 5 to 10 g each, unless indicated otherwise by the instructions for use of the apparatus.

Spread the test portion over the base of the test receptacle, thoroughly cleaned in advance, and note the weight of the test portion to within 1 mg.


Follow the procedure indicated in the instructions for use of the apparatus for the product to be tested, in particular with regard to the adjusting of temperatures, the duration of the test and the recording of the weight readings.
4. Expression of results
4.1 Result
The result should be the arithmetic mean of the two determinations, provided that the conditions of repeatability (4.2) are satisfied. Report the result to one decimal place.

4.2 Repeatability


The difference in absolute value between the respective results of the two determinations performed simultaneously or one immediately after the other by the same operator, under the same conditions on identical test material, must not exceed 0.2%.
5. Test report
The test report must state the method used and the results obtained. The report must contain all information necessary for the full identification of the sample.


ANNEX II



DESIGNATIONS OF CLASSES
Designations for each class are shown in the table below.




Class


Quality


Colour


Optional

Designation

Extra

Superior quality

Characteristic of

variety or commercial type

White


Pale Ivory

Pale ash-grey

Light yellow

"White"



Class I

Good quality

Light Brown

Light Ivory

Light ash-grey

Deep ivory

Yellow

"Scorched"

Class II

Do not qualify for inclusion in

higher classes, but which

satisfy minimum requirements

specified above.



Light Brown

Amber

Light Blue


"Scorched

Seconds"



Immature and speckled kernels are permitted provided they do not affect the characteristic shape of the kernel.


Deep Brown

Deep Blue

Discoloured

Black spotted

"Dessert"














ANNEX III
DEFINITIONS OF DEFECTS
A. Defects of kernels
Superficial damage: Damage adversely affecting the appearance of the product, including blemishes and areas of discoloration. Scraped kernels, where characteristic shape is not affected are not considered defective.
Intrinsic defects: Shrivelled or immature kernels: the kernel is materially shrunken, wrinkled and tough. These are considered a defect only when the kernel is deformed and does not have its characteristic shape.
Spotted or speckled: the presence of black or brown spots or specks.
B. Other defects from external causes
Insect damage: Containing dead insects, mites, insect fragments, webbing, frass, excreta, or visible damage caused by boring and feeding of insects and animal parasites.
Mould: Mould filaments either on the inside or the outside of the kernel visible to the naked eye.
Rancidity: Oxidation or free fatty acid production in the lipids producing a disagreeable flavour.
Decay: Significant decomposition caused by the action of micro-organisms.
Foreign Matter: Any matter or material not usually associated with the product; excludes mineral impurities.
Testa: Skin adhering to any portion of the kernel.



1Oil frying or roasting are not considered to be 'further processing' where cashew kernels are

intended for direct consumption.

2  Kernels with no more than one eighth of the kernel broken off can also be considered as whole.

3The moisture content is determined by the method described in Annex I to this document.

4Optional designations for each class are described in Annex II to this document.

5These pieces may also be designated "Medium Brazilian Pieces".

6These pieces may also be designated "Small Brazilian Pieces".

7This sizing is optional.

8The regulations of certain importing countries require compliance with a specific range of net weights for closed packages.

9The national legislation of a number of European countries requires the explicit declaration of the name and address.

10 The main points specified are as follows:

  • moisture and volatile matter content is expressed as mass fraction, in percent, of the mass of the initial sample.

  • The result is the arithmetic mean of the two determinations; the difference between the two determinations should not exceed 0.2 % (mass fraction).

  • The result has to be reported to one decimal place.



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