Vegetables and fruit

 Classification of vegetables and fruit

The fresh fruit and vegetables for which apply the quality standards of the European Union can not be sold unless they conform to them. From March 2000 came into force on the Legislative Decree. N. 57/2000 laying down sanctions for infringements of the rules on quality control. The rules relating to fruit and vegetables are either general, or specific to a single product (or product group).

  Of the general ones, we mention the Reg. (EEC) 2251/92, relating to quality control, registration of fruit and vegetables traders in special registers, control exemption logo on the labels, AGEA notification of the information needed for the execution of compliance checks , etc.; Reg. (EC) 2200/96, "the common organization of the markets in fruit and vegetables"; the Decree. 165/99, AIMA on the suppression and the institution in its place AGEA.

 The special rules are those relating to fresh fruit and vegetables that have been included in a table in which next to each product is precisely it reported the number and the year of the European Regulation.

 For example, some citrus fruits, apples and peaches have the code 920/89, that the quality standards are regulated by Reg. (EC) No. 920 of 1989; likewise, the 2257/94 for bananas (of exotic fruits, are included in the table, only bananas, kiwis and avocados); for tomatoes, 778/93; for carrots on 730/99.

 For example, the latter regulation states that the carrots must weigh at least 50 gr., (And not exceed 200 g. If extra category and before), having a diameter of at least 20 mm., And if they can not forked be marketed.

To verify compliance with the common quality standards for fruit and vegetable products, they are carried out by the controllers on operators in the sector of the so-called compliance checks, namely samples are taken (**) taken at random from different points of the match choice for checking compliance with common quality standards. In case of compliance, the inspection certificate is issued.

 In the absence of compliance, the attendant AGEA (Agency Disbursements in Agriculture) or the ICE (Italian Trade Commission (*)), which are the two control bodies designated for Italy from the EU, notify in writing all ' ortofrutticolo operator to defects.


Operators are of course the producers, retailers (wholesalers), freight forwarders, the general warehouse operators and air conditioning and refrigeration systems; shippers and wholesalers are registered, each with its own protocol number, at the AGEA; Moreover, there is also a log for operators authorized to operate air conditioning systems.

 The controls are made or places of loading and conditioning, or in a designated control center, or at destination at the wholesale selling warehouses and distribution centers.


The AGEA of a register and ICE can issue exemption certificates as those operators that guarantee consistent quality of its marketed production and have highly skilled personnel, adequate facilities for the preparation and packaging the products, precooling equipment, the all operations carried out.

 Also they are exempt from inspection products brought into use, or those that the manufacturer sells in your business to the consumer limited to their personal needs.

 For wholesale, are typically used for packaging, with certain characteristics to the size, the material used and the method of manufacture, and the cost of which, indicated separately in the invoice, it is added to the product price.

Retailing of vegetables

 In retail sale, if the vegetables are offered with packaging, the indications on the labeling must be presented in a clear and readable if it is submitted in bulk, the sign must state clearly, clearly and legibly the following information: variety, origin, and category (quality) of the fruit or vegetable.

 The minimum quality requirements of the EU rules are: the right stage of development and maturation; absence of alterations and defects; absence of extraneous substances and moisture contrived (adulteration); absence of foreign smell and taste.

 or the quality of the prod. o-f we have three qualifying category: extra category (superior), 1st category (good quality), 2nd category (merchantable quality, ie minimum requirements, with slight defects).

 For the caliber, namely the size, or weight, or the standard form established by Community legislation for each qualitative category of prod. o.-f., there is a tolerance (also for the quality, or category) variable. 

Frozen foods.

The frozen vegetables deserve a special mention.
Store means having continuously of foods that are real stocks.

The technique of freezing, based on rapid cooling to temperatures equal to or lower than - 18 ° C (p. 12), is between the different storage systems without doubt the best, both under the aspect of hygienic-sanitary safety, both under that of the preservation of quality. The cooling rate in fact effectively prevents chemical and organoleptic changes and various alterations, thus avoiding the loss of nutritional value, taste, smell and color.

Some important vitamins contained in vegetables are particularly fragile and just a few days because they destroy after three days at room temperature artichokes lose 30% of vitamin C, asparagus and broccoli suffer reductions of 80% and spinach come to losses of 75 % in just two days.

The frozen products instead represent the only real "freshness guarantee": in fact pass only a few hours from the moment the product is collected, caught and prepared, to that in which it is frozen.

The advantages of plant products primarily reside in a class of substances, antioxidants, which are recently very interesting to scientists because their activities appears to be able to limit some of the damage originated in the human body during normal metabolic processes; in particular, they help to protect against free radicals, aging potentially carcinogenic cell products.

The main antioxidants are pro-vitamin A and other carotenoids such as lutein and lycopene, vitamin E, vitamin C, flavonoids and polyphenols.

The of vegetable range includes all the vegetables in brine: peas, spinach, green beans, beans, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, artichokes, asparagus, potatoes, etc., as well as stews, soups, cereal, grilled vegetables, breaded or enriched with ricettazioni most complete (combined with mozzarella cheese, etc.), vegetable ethnic dishes.

The production and packaging of frozen vegetables, and in general of all the frozen products, must take place in establishments authorized by the competent health authority, under art.2 of the law April 30, 1962, n. 283. Anyone violating the provisions of art. 3:06, paragraph 1, shall be punished with imprisonment up to one year and a fine of 60,000 pounds to 60 million pounds.


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