Cabbage

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  1. General Requirements
    • 1.1 Grade
    • 1.2 Similar Varietal Characteristics
    • 1.3 Packages and Markings
  2. Size
  3. Firmness
  4. Colour
  5. Cleanliness
  6. Permanent Defects
    • 6.1 Burst Heads
    • 6.2 Doubles
    • 6.3 Edema
    • 6.4 Hollow Stems
    • 6.5 Mechanical Damage
    • 6.6 Seed Stalks
    • 6.7 Sunscald
    • 6.8 Trimming
    • 6.9 Other Permanent Defects
  7. Condition Defects
    • 7.1 Black Speck
    • 7.2 Bruising, Chaffing or Shredding
    • 7.3 Decay
    • 7.4 Freezing
    • 7.5 Worm Damage
    • 7.6 Presence of Insects
    • 7.7 Yellowing
    • 7.8 Withered
    • 7.9 Other Condition Defects
  8. Tolerances
    • 8.1 Shipping Point Tolerances
    • 8.2 Destination Tolerances

1. General requirements

1.1 Grade

The grades for cabbage are Canada No. 1 and Canada No. 2.

1.2 Similar Varietal Characteristic

It is very difficult to identify the many varieties and strains of cabbage that are grown commercially. However, inspectors should become familiar with the various types.

There are varieties which are distinctly round, pointed or flat. These different types should not be mixed together. For example, flat types would not be mixed with "pointed" types, early mixed with fall varieties nor would "red" be mixed with "green". Likewise, the "Savoy" type would not be packed with the firmer Danish or pointed type cabbage.

1.3 Packages and Markings

1.3.1 Markings

All packages (including bags) must be marked with the common name of the produce (unless the product is clearly visible through the package), net quantity, name and complete address (including postal code) of the responsible party, and for Canadian and imported prepackaged produce (cello wrapped produce) the grade name.

1.3.2 Packages

Cabbage can be packed in bags, boxes, cartons or crates. When cabbage is packed in containers other than bags, the declaration of net quantity may be shown in terms of numerical count or volume. When cabbage is packed in bags, they must be packed in bags of 40 lbs (18.1 kg) and 50 lbs (22.7 kg).

Cabbage may be imported in different size containers as long as it does not reach the consumer.

1.3.3 Properly Packed

Cabbage bearing either Canada No. 1 or Canada No. 2 grades must be properly packed.

"Properly packed" in respect of produce that is packed in a container, means that:

  • the produce is packed in a manner that is not likely to result in damage to the produce during handling or transport, and
  • the container contains not less than the net quantity of produce declared on the label.

2. Size

Canada No. 1

There is no minimum or maximum size for Canada No. 1 cabbage. However cabbage shall not vary more than 51 mm (2 inches) in diameter within a package. Packages which do not meet this size requirement will be scored and reported against the 10% tolerance for packages.

"Diameter" means the greatest width at right angles to the longitudinal axis.

Canada No. 2

There is no size requirement for Canada No. 2 grade.

3. Firmness

Savoy type - This type is easily identified by the crinkling of the leaves throughout the head, which gives it a springy nature.

Score heads that are soft against both Canada No. 1 and Canada No. 2 grades.

Other types - Other types require good head formation and must have good weight in comparison with the size.

Canada No. 1

Score heads which yield only slightly to pressure.

Canada No. 2

Score heads that are soft.

"Soft" means that the heads are loosely formed with large air spaces in the central portion and are very light in proportion to size.

"Maturity" on certificates will be shown as hard, firm, reasonably firm or soft.

4. Colour

There is no specific colour requirement for cabbages of either grade. When writing in "colour" on the certificate, use "Characteristic Green" or whatever the colour.

5. Cleanliness

Canada No. 1

Score when dirt or mud is fairly heavily smeared on visible head leaves or is heavy on wrapper leaves.

Canada No. 2

Score when dirt is seriously affecting the appearance, edibility or shipping quality of the cabbage.

6. Permanent Defects

6.1 Burst Heads

These are heads which have split open due to rapid or abnormal growth, either at the base or the crown, usually the latter. In both grades, score when the head is burst. By definition, burst heads is when more than 4 leaves are broken.

6.2 Doubles

Occasionally some plants may produce doubles. This is usually the result of young plants being severely checked in growth by adverse weather conditions.

Canada No. 1

Score when the head is sufficiently misshapen to indicate that there are two centres of growth.

Canada No. 2

Score when the outer leaves are separated or split disclosing two or more centres of growth.

6.3 Edema

Cabbage at times will show a defect on the surface of the leaves which has a light tan to yellow-brown stippled (small dots or flecks) or scarified appearance. This is known as Edema and is generally caused by the rasping action of thrips, but could also be caused by the blasting action of sand.

Canada No. 1

Score when the affected area exceeds the equivalent of a 51 mm (2 inches) circle in aggregate on each of 2 head leaves.

Canada No. 2

Score when the affected area exceeds the equivalent of a 57 mm (2 1/4 inches) circle in aggregate on each of 3 head leaves.

6.4 Hollow Stems

Occasionally cabbage stems will be hollow. This could be caused by extreme cold weather during the growing season or by a boron deficiency.

Canada No. 1

Score when:

  • the hole is discoloured, or
  • the hole is deeper than 25.4 mm (1 inch) or wider than 19 mm (3/4 inch).

Canada No. 2

Score when the hole is seriously affecting the appearance, edibility or shipping quality of the cabbage.

6.5 Mechanical Damage

This is usually a result of careless handling or harvesting.

Canada No. 1

Score when the cut is more than 15 mm (2 inches) in length and/or deeper than 3 head leaves.

Canada No. 2

Score when the cut is more than 102 mm (4 inches) in length and/or deeper than 4 head leaves.

6.6 Seed Stalks

Score against both grades when the presence of a seed stalk has caused a noticeable bump or bulge on the contour of the head or has penetrated the outer head leaves.

Care should be taken when scoring the early or spring varieties of cabbage that are naturally pointed and may give the appearance of having a seed stalk.

6.7 Sunscald

Scald occurs on the top of the head. It first appears as a watersoaked or blistered area of irregular shape and could be confused with freezing injury. This dries out and leaves a bleached, parchment-like area surrounded by healthy tissue.

Canada No. 1

Score when:

  • the affected area exceeds 1/4 the area of the crown, or
  • penetrates more than 2 head leaves.

Canada No. 2

Score when:

  • the affected area exceeds more than 1/2 the area, or
  • penetrates more than 3 head leaves.

NOTE: The crown is the upper half of the compact portion of the head.

6.8 Trimming

Canada No. 1

Score when:

  • the butts are longer than 12.7 mm (1/2 inch), or
  • more than six (6) wrapper leaves are present, or
  • all outer leaves damaged by worms, disease or other means are not removed.

Canada No. 2

Score when:

  • the butts are longer than 12.7 mm (1/2 inch), or
  • more than six wrapper leaves per head are present, or
  • is damaged such that it materially affects the appearance, edibility or shipping quality of the cabbage.

6.9 Other Permanent Defects

Are free from any damage or defect or a combination thereof, other than the damage or defects referred in paragraphs 6.1 to 6.8.

Canada No. 1

Materially affects the appearance, edibility or shipping quality of the cabbages.

Canada No. 2

Seriously affects the appearance, edibility or shipping quality of the cabbages, or cannot be removed without the loss of more than 15 per cent of the edible portion of a head of cabbage.

7. Condition Defects

7.1 Black Speck

This defect will appear as numerous small tan or dark sunken spots in the leaves.

Canada No. 1

Score when more than 2 head leaves are materially affected.

Canada No. 2

Score when more than 3 head leaves are materially affected.

7.2 Bruising, Chaffing or Shredding

This is the result of rubbing against the side of the crate, box or bag, being improperly packed or from mechanical damage.

Canada No. 1

Score when materially affecting more than 2 head leaves.

Canada No. 2

This type of damage will rarely be severe enough to score against this grade.

7.3 Decay

The term decay is used in the sense of being a deterioration involving decomposition, which is induced by a fungi or bacteria, and which is of a complete and progressive nature.

Any soft decay or breakdown is scoreable against both grades. Rub the affected area between the fingers to be sure it is decay and not just a water-soaked area of the leaf. Decay will be reported under three headings:

  • decay on wrapper leaves;
  • decay on head leaves;
  • decay on butt end.

However, if decay is found on more than two (2) parts, score only the most important part, never score the same head twice. Head leaves will be scored first followed by the butt end and finally wrapper leaves. A general term description will be marked on the certificate if decay affects more than one place.

7.4 Freezing Damage

This defect will appear as a discolouration, toughening or drying out of leaves, and may at times cause the leaves to become watersoaked in appearance, which may advance to decay.

Canada No. 1

Score when:

  • the drying out or discolouration affects more than 1/4 the area of the crown, or
  • when more than 2 head leaves per head are affected.

Canada No. 2

Score when:

  • the drying out or discoloration affects more than 1/2 the area of the crown, or
  • when more than 3 head leaves per head are affected.

7.5 Worm Damage

Worm damage is generally caused by the larva of the cabbage moth and occurs as holes of an irregular size and shape.

Canada No. 1

Score when:

  • Holes penetrate more than 3 head leaves, or
  • frass or excreta is in sufficient quantity to be conspicuous, or
  • when the damage materially affects the appearance, edibility or shipping quality of the cabbage.

Canada No. 2

Score when:

  • Holes penetrate more than 5 head leaves, or
  • frass or excreta is in sufficient quantity to seriously detract from the appearance, or
  • when the damage seriously affects the appearance, edibility or shipping quality of the cabbage.

7.6 Presence of Insects

Canada No. 1

The presence of any of the larger species such as the cabbage worm, corn ear worm or cabbage looper constitutes damage. On the other hand, the smaller insects such as aphids, plant lice or flea beetles have to be present in substantial numbers and be rather obvious to be considered as materially or seriously affecting the appearance.

Score when:

  • Worms are present anywhere on the head, or
  • more than 10 aphids are on the compact portion of the head, or
  • they are sufficient on wrapper leaves to be readily noticeable without close examination.

Canada No. 2

Score when:

  • Worms are present in the edible portion of the head, or
  • a general infestation is readily apparent.

NOTE: If the insects are "live" insects, treat as a condition defect as the insects may not have been present at shipping point. If the insects are "dead" insects, treat as a permanent defect, since the insects were probably present at shipping point. In cases where there are both "live" and "dead" insects present, treat as a condition defect.

7.7 Yellowing

This condition is more prevalent in early and mid-season cabbage and should not be confused with the whitish or bleached-out appearance that we find in late fall or winter marketed cabbage.

Wrapper Leaves

Yellowing which is distinctly noticeable will be scored when:

Canada No. 1

The aggregate yellow area exceeds 25% of the total surface area of the wrapper leaves.

Canada No. 2

The aggregate yellow area exceeds 50% of the total area of the wrapper leaves.

Head Leaves

Yellowing on the head leaves will be scored the same as "Sunscald", therefore it will be scored when:

Canada No. 1

The affected area exceeds 1/4 the area of the crown, or penetrates more than 2 head leaves per head.

Canada No. 2

The aggregate area exceeds more than 1/2 of the area, or penetrates more than 3 head leaves per head.

NOTE: The crown is the upper half of the compact portion of the head of cabbage.

7.8 Withered

Both Canada No. 1 and Canada No. 2 grades are to be free from withering. Withering is caused by a water loss, the cabbage will be shrunken and shrivelled.

7.9 Other Condition Defects

Are free from any damage or defect or a combination thereof, other than damage or defects referred to in paragraphs 7.1 to 7. 8 that:

Canada No. 1

Materially affects the appearance, edibility or shipping quality of the cabbage.

Canada No. 2

  • Seriously affects the appearance, edibility or shipping quality of the cabbage, or
  • cannot be removed without the loss of more than 15 percent of the edible portion of a head of cabbage.

8.Tolerances

8.1 Shipping Point Tolerances

  1. 10% of packages may be outside the 51 mm (2 inches) size range for Canada No. 1;
  2. 5% for same defect
  3. 2% decay

Combination of (b) and (c) must not exceed 10%

8.2 Destination Tolerances

  1. 10% of packages may be outside the 51 mm (2 inches) size range for Canada No. 1;
  2. 5% same permanent defect
  3. up to 10% a same condition
  4. up to 4% decay

Combination of (b), (c) and (d) must defect not exceed 15%

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