Cherries

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  1. Grades
    • 1.1 Immature
    • 1.2 Mature
    • 1.3 Handpicked
    • 1.4 Sound
    • 1.5 Of one Variety
    • 1.6 Properly Packed
  2. Colour
    • 2.1 Colour
    • 2.2 Good Colour
  3. Size
    • 3.1 Fair Colour
  4. Cleanliness
    • 4.1 Fairly Clean
    • 4.2 Reasonably Clean
  5. Defects
    • 5.1 Bruises
    • 5.2 Irregular Depressed Areas
    • 5.3 Soft
    • 5.4 Doubles
    • 5.5 Brown Discolouration
    • 5.6 Wind Whipped
    • 5.7 Limbrub
    • 5.8 Sunscald
    • 5.9 Skin Breaks (Splitting)
    • 5.10 Hail Marks
    • 5.11 Cherries without Stems
  6. Foreign Material
  7. General Tolerances

The grades for cherries are Canada No. 1, Canada Domestic and Canada Orchard Run.

Canada Orchard Run is the grade name for cherries that have dry circular or horseshoe stem end cracks not extending beyond the stem bowl, but in all other respects comply with the requirements of Canada Domestic grade.

1. Grades

All grades of cherries require that the cherries be mature, handpicked, sound, of one variety, properly packed, free from damage and free from insects, insect larva, insect injury, disease, gum, twigs, leaves and dried specimens. In addition, Canada No. 1 grade requires that the cherries also be fairly clean, of good colour, of fair size, table graded, free from hail marks and in the case of Elkhorn or Lambert varieties not more than 15% of the fruit without stems, and in the case of other varieties, not more than 10% of the fruit without stems. Canada Domestic and Canada Orchard Run grades require that the cherries be reasonably clean, and of fair colour, in addition to the requirements given above.

Mature cherries are filled out, are firm instead of hard, and while their flavour may be a little too astringent to be considered fully palatable, they are not objectionably sour. In many varieties the pit will separate readily from the flesh.

One of the most reliable and practical indications of maturity is colour. Dark fleshed cherries which show a bright scarlet or darker hue instead of a pale or light red colour are generally mature. Another indication of maturity is the presence of pink or red colour in the juice. Mature light fleshed varieties show a light straw or darker ground colour. Blush colour has little or no relationship to maturity on light varieties.

The development of ripeness generally parallels the development of colour in sweet cherries. In most years, dark-fleshed varieties are red in colour at the firm stage of maturity, maroon at the firm ripe stage and black at the ripe stage. The ground colour of light-fleshed varieties is usually medium to deep yellow when the fruit is at the ripe stage.

1.1 Immature

In the horticultural sense, means that the flesh of the cherry is not fully developed and if removed from the tree at this stage, the cherry will not ripen properly. Immature cherries are, therefore, those that were picked before they were horticulturally mature.

1.2 Mature

In the horticultural sense, means that the cherry has reached the stage of development that ensures completion of the ripening process. The cherry may either be ready for consumption or it will develop to that point.

1.3 Handpicked

Means that the cherries show no evidence of rough handling or of having been on the ground.

1.4 Sound

Means that the fruit is free from condition defects such as decay, breakdown, freezing injury, soft or shrivelled specimens, overripe specimens or other injury affecting its keeping quality.

1.5 Of One Variety

Means that the cherries, within a container, are of the same general shape and colour.

1.6 Properly Packed

Means that when the cherries are packed in a package, it is not so packed as to be slack or overpressed or otherwise in a condition likely to result in damage from handling or in transit.

2. Colour

Colour is one of the most important factors to be reported in describing a lot of cherries. The ripeness and development of flavour parallels the development of colour in cherries. The definitions of colour requirements are as follows:

2.1 Good colour

Means that the cherries are of the colour considered characteristic of the variety when mature.

  • to meet this requirement of "good colour" all sweet cherries of the black varieties must have not less than ⅔ of the cherry meeting the number 3 colour comparator and the balance of the cherry must be of at least fair colour

2.2 Fair colour

Means that not less than 75% of the cherries are of a good colour characteristic of the variety when mature and the balance of the cherries are not of a colour characteristic of immature cherries.

3. Size

3.1 Fair Size

Means that not less than 65% of the cherries are of a size characteristic of the variety when mature and that variation in size is not sufficient to seriously detract from the general appearance of the lot.

  • For varieties such as Bing, Lambert, Star, Sam, Van, Chinook, Stella, Vista, Venus, Schmidt, Windsor and Hedelfingen, at least 65% of the lot must be 12/16 inches minimum diameter.
  • For other varieties at least 65% of the lot must be 11/16 inches minimum diameter.

4. Cleanliness

Cleanliness is very seldom a factor in the inspection of sweet cherries and special care should be exercised in scoring this defect.

4.1 Fairly Clean

Means that the individual specimen is free from dirt, dust, spray residue or other foreign material that is noticeably in contrast with the colour of the cherry or that the appearance of the lot is not more than noticeably affected.

4.2 Reasonably Clean

Means that the individual specimen is free clean from dirt, dust, spray residue or other foreign material that is seriously in contrast with the colour of the cherry or that the appearance of the lot is not more than seriously affected.

5. Defects

5.1 Bruises

Score when the cherry is flattened, discoloured and/or has a translucent area. Bruises incident to good commercial handling and packing like stem marks are not scoreable. Minor bruising up to ¼ inch (6.4 mm) aggregate would be allowed in Canada No. 1 and a slightly larger bruise up to ⅜ inch (9.6 mm) aggregate would be permitted in Canada Domestic and Canada Orchard Run.

5.2 Irregular Depressed Areas

This term will be used only to describe the following defects: pitting, dimpling, sunken discoloured areas or sunken indented areas.

Score as follows:

Canada No. 1

  • No amount will be permitted.

Canada Domestic and Orchard Run

  • Affects a depressed area of more than ¼ inch in the aggregate.

Note: This defect may be qualified as "discoloured" in general terms, Example: "X" irregular depressed area affecting over ¼ inch in the aggregate of which "mostly" is discoloured.

5.3 Soft

Soft is the latest stage of firmness and it means that the flesh of the product is flabby to the touch and it yields readily to slight pressure as opposed to the ripe cherries which are firm enough to be handled and shipped on the local market. The flesh of the cherry has started to deteriorate and the skin is flaccid. Also, the soft cherries usually have a dull appearance. Soft cherries will be scored in all grades.

5.4 Doubles

Materially affects appearance in Canada No. 1 therefore none allowed. In Canada Domestic and Canada Orchard Run grades, allow any amount of well developed doubles provided they are not irregularly sized and do not have deep sutures.

5.5 Brown Discolouration

Usually appears first on the skin surface, ranging in colour from tan to dark brown and spreading into the flesh eventually affecting the whole cherry.

Score all grades when any skin discolouration exceeds 6.35 mm (¼ inch) in the aggregate or any that penetrates into the flesh.

5.6 Wind Whipped

None allowed in any of the grades as wind whipped cherries are liable to secondary infection.

5.7 Limbrub

Tan coloured, streaked or russeted - none allowed in Canada No. 1, allow ¼ inch aggregate area in Canada Domestic and Canada Orchard Run.

5.8 Sunscald

None allowed in any of the grades as sunscalded cherries are subject to secondary infection.

5.9 Skin Breaks (Splitting)

Canada No. 1

  • be free from skin breaks, but may have superficial, well-healed stem-end cracks within the stem cavity that do not exceed 2 mm (1/16 inch) in width and do not extend in length to more than one-half (½) of the circumference of the stem cavity.

Canada Domestic

Be free from skin breaks, but may have:

  • superficial, well-healed stem-end cracks within the stem cavity that do not exceed 3 mm (⅛ inch) in width and do not extend in length to more than one-half (½) of the circumference of the stem cavity; 
  • well-healed cracks outside of the stem cavity that affect an aggregate area per cherry not exceeding 3 mm (⅛ inch) in diameter.

Canada Orchard Run

Be free from skin breaks, but may have:

  • circular or horseshoe stem end cracks not extending beyond the stem cavity;
  • well-healed cracks outside of the stem cavity that affect an aggregate area per cherry not exceeding 3 mm (⅛ inch) in diameter.

5.10 Hail Marks

None in Canada No. 1. In Canada Domestic and Canada Orchard Run allow hail marks which have not broken the skin to affect up to 25% of the surface area.

5.11 Cherries Without Stems

In Canada No. 1 grade, in the case of Elkhorn or Lambert varieties, allow up to 15% of the fruit without stems, and in the case of other varieties, allow up to 10%. In Canada Domestic and Canada Orchard Run, allow any amount of cherries without stems. These interpretations apply only to stemless cherries on which the skin is not torn. Stemless cherries with the skin torn and the flesh exposed are culls.

6. Foreign Material

None allowed in any of the grades, as defined by "free from".

  • Insects
  • Insect Larva
  • Insect Injury
  • Disease
  • Gum
  • Twigs
  • Leaves
  • Dried Specimens

7. General Tolerances

At shipping point applied by weight or count:

  • 1% decay or brown rot
  • 5% same grade defect
  • 10% total grade defects.

At destination, condition defects do not apply against the grade of cherries.

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