The demand for Grading and Sorting practices has risen significantly owing to the greater emphasis on quality assessment and the need for higher responsiveness to the market ‘mood’. Size variations in fruits and vegetables provide the base for grading sorting into various categories. Any country with such produce would have specific standards of grading sorting, in line with the requirements of customers/markets, and India is no different in this context. This is important too – not just for customer satisfaction, but also for the ‘producers’ to sell their produce at a beneficial price. Delivering substandard produce does result in loss of customer trust and subpar prices, and hence ensuring that produce that is damaged, rotten, shriveled, or containing any other anomaly is removed before going to market. Systematic grading sorting is therefore quintessential especially given the highly varied climate of India.

Grading sorting of fruits and vegetables is carried out basis their size, shape, weight, color, readiness, and other factors.

Benefits of sorting of produce

–        Helps to separate damaged produce from the healthy ones

–        Removal of diseased produce such that only healthy produce reaches customers

–        Only ‘mature’ fruit would have reached the highest level of deliciousness

–        Optimal color on the produce is an indication of their health and maturity of the seeds

–        Shape and size affects packaging too and hence produce also requires to be sorted by these two criteria as well

Definition and Benefits – Grading of Fruits and Vegetables

Grading is the process of separating fruits and vegetables into varying grades on the basis of color, shape, size, no disease and volume, in order to gain better market price. With the complexity and time consuming nature of manual grading sorting, people prefer machine based grading sorting given that this ensures only the best quality of produce goes through to the market. Grading helps to gain a higher market price, elevate marketing, increase shelf life, ensure proper packaging and transportation, removal of diseased, damaged, and sub-par produce, lesser bargaining and easier purchase by customers, and other benefits. Grading is divided into three categories – extra class, Class I, and Class II.

Extra Class defines the best/superior quality produce – those with a clean skin and bright appearance, free from defects and soil, no disease, and a large size and ideal shape.

Class I defines good quality – those with negligible defects but do not  affect the appearance of the produce, minor shape and size defect, minimal superficial pressure marks, slight presence of soil.

Class II defines quality not suitable for Extra Class or Class I – minor dry bruising, traces of soil, and some skin defects.

In Conclusion:

Grading sorting is a critical process for produce, however undertaking this process manually is not only a sordid waste of time, it is also more costly and prone to human error. During times of labor shortage, your produce could spoil simply waiting for someone to categorize them and send them to market. It is critical that farmers in the country gain access to the most suitable and cost effective grading sorting machinery such that their problems of labor shortage, time consumption, lowered quality and quantity of produce, and poor management of resources are alleviated. We at Marsh Harrier understand the Indian market and are committed to improving yield and profitability, reducing losses, and bringing an overarching improvement in the marketing system of produce. Connect with us to know more.