Canola and rapeseed: Grading factors

Full list of grading factors

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B

Broken (BKN)

Any broken canola that remains in the sample after cleaning and is otherwise sound is considered to be sound.


C

Colour (CLR)

In assessing colour, consider

  • The amount and degree of discolouration of the whole seed, such as from weathering
  • The amount of rime (seeds densely and completely covered by rime are assessed as Damage)
  • The proportion of crushed seeds which are only pale green or slightly immature and therefore not assessed as distinctly green

Note: Whole seeds that are green may be as a result of thin seed coats of certain canola varieties. Whole green seeds of these varieties are not indicators of elevated chlorophyll levels and therefore are not considered distinctly green or assessed as part of colour evaluation. Only seeds which are distinctly green throughout when crushed are assessed as distinctly green.

Important: Where colour is the grade determinant, use the description under Degree of soundness in the Primary grade determinants table to assign the grade. The CGC Canola/Rapeseed Colour Guide may be used to assist in the determination of distinctly green seeds.


Conspicuous admixture (CADMX)

Conspicuous admixture refers to material that remain in the sample after cleaning and is easily distinguished from canola without the use of magnification, including

  • Domestic seeds such as flaxseed, yellow mustard or yellow Brassica carinata, and whole shrunken or broken kernels of other grains
  • Weed seeds such as cow cockle, lamb’s-quarters, cleavers, smartweed, ball mustard and pigweed
  • Conspicuous foreign material such as ergot, excreta, insect excreta, sclerotinia and stones

Contaminated grain

Important: Wear gloves and a mask to handle any sample that is suspected of containing contaminated grain.

Grain is contaminated for the purposes of the Canada Grain Act if the grain contains any substance in sufficient quantity that the grain is either

  1. adulterated for the purposes of the Food and Drugs Act; or 
  2. contaminated within the meaning of the regulations made under section 51 of the Safe Foods for Canadians Act.

Procedures

If a sample is suspected of being contaminated, the sample should be submitted to the Canadian Grain Commission. Determination as to whether grain is contaminated will be made by the Grain Research Laboratory in consultation with the Chief Grain Inspector for Canada. Samples deemed to be contaminated are graded: Canola, Sample Condemned.


D

Damage (DMG)

Damage in canola includes seeds that are

  • Distinctly shrunken or shriveled
  • Badly discoloured from mould
  • Completely and densely covered with rime
  • Excessively weathered, sprouted, tan coloured, distinctly green, heated, insect damaged or otherwise damaged

Total damage is the total of damaged crushed seeds and any visually damaged uncrushed seeds.

Procedures

  1. Divide the sample to the appropriate representative portion.
  2. Handpick the representative portion for visually damaged seeds.
  3. Determine the percentage concentration by weight.

Note: See distinctly green and heated for procedures to be followed in assessing these types of damage.


Distinctly green (DGR)

Distinctly green tolerances are applied to crushed seeds which are a distinct green throughout (refer to the CGC Canola/Rapeseed Colour Guide). Pale green or immature seeds are taken into account in the evaluation of colour. See Colour.

Procedures

  1. Prepare and crush the appropriate number of strips from the cleaned sample.
  2. A crush is made with one pass of the roller under firm pressure.
  3. Determine the percentage of distinctly green seeds. The CGC Canola/Rapeseed Colour Guide may be used to assist in the determination of distinctly green seeds.

Note: A 10-power magnifying lens may be used to confirm whether dark coloured seeds are brown or very dark green.


E

Earth pellets

  • Hard earth pellets are pellets that do not crumble under light pressure. See Stones.
  • Soft earth pellets are pellets that crumble under light pressure. See Soft earth pellets.

Ergot (ERG)

Ergot is a plant disease producing elongated fungal bodies with a purplish-black exterior, a purplish-white to off-white interior, and a relatively smooth surface texture.


Excreta (EXCR)

Excrement from any animal including mammals, birds and insects.

Important : Wear gloves and a mask to handle any samples that you suspect may contain excreta.

Extraneous material

Can be defined as glass, metal, wood, plastic or any other material not already defined in the Official Grain Grading Guide.


F

Fertilizer pellets (FERT PLTS)

Fertilizer pellets are a manufactured plant nutrient product used by producers in the production of grain. They are typically small, round or irregular shaped and usually white, grey, brown, pink or reddish in colour.

Procedures

  • Handpick any fertilizer pellets and determine the concentration basis the net working sample.
  • Fertilizer pellets are assessed as stones when the concentration does not exceed 1.0% of the net sample weight.
  • Samples containing fertilizer pellets in excess of 1.0% of the net sample weight are graded Canola, Held IP Suspect Contaminated Grain.

Fireburnt (FBNT)

Samples that show any evidence of being charred or scorched by fire are considered fireburnt. Evidence includes odour, pieces of charred wood, and so on. Fireburnt seeds pop when crushed.

Procedures

Samples considered fireburnt are graded Canola, Sample Canada, Account Fireburnt


Foreign material (FM)

Foreign material in canola includes anything that is not canola, such as stones, ergot, sclerotinia, conspicuous admixture and inconspicuous admixture.


G

Green (GR)

See Distinctly green.


H

Heated (HTD)

Heated refers only to seeds that are distinctly or badly binburnt. Heated seeds may have a heated odour.

Crushed seeds may be

  • Black—badly binburnt
  • Dark brown- distinctly heated (refer to the CGC Canola/Rapeseed Heated Colour Guide)
  • Light tan
    • light tan seeds without a heated odour are assessed as damaged
    • light tan seeds with a heated odour are assessed as heated
    • light tan seeds in combination with dark brown or black seeds, with or without a heated odour, are assessed as heated

Procedures

  1. Prepare and examine the appropriate number of strips from the cleaned sample.
  2. A crush is made with one pass of the roller under firm pressure.
  3. Examine the crushed seeds for evidence of heating.
  4. Where any heated seeds are found in the initial 1000 seeds or a heated odour is detected a minimum of 2000 seeds must be analyzed.
  5. Determine the percentage of heated seeds. The CGC Canola/Rapeseed Heated Colour Guide may be used to assist in the determination of heated seeds.
  6. Heated seeds of other grains are included in the tolerance for Heated.

I

Inconspicuous admixture (INC ADMX)

Inconspicuous admixture is defined as seeds of common wild mustard, domestic oriental mustard, domestic brown mustard, and brown Brassica carinata that are not readily distinguishable from canola.

Procedures

To determine the percentage by weight of inconspicuous admixture, analyse the sample with the aid of a microscope.


O

Odour (ODOR)

There is no numeric tolerance for odour. Consider

  • The basic quality of the sample
  • The type and degree of the odour
  • The presence of visible residue causing the odour
Heated, fireburnt and odour for canola and rapeseed
If odour is the grade determinant and there is: Then the grade is:
A distinct objectionable odour not associated with the quality of the grain, but not heated or fireburnt Canola, Sample Canada, Account Odour
A distinct heated odour Canola, Sample Canada, Account Heated
A distinct fireburnt odour Canola, Sample Canada, Account Fireburnt

R

Rime

Rime is the lining of the pod adhered to the seed. Seeds that are completely and densely covered with white rime are classed as damaged in any grade. Seeds with light rime sparsely covering the seed coat are

  • Classed as sound if not otherwise damaged
  • Considered in the evaluation of colour. See Colour

Procedures

See Damage.


S

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (SCL)

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a fungus producing hard masses of fungal tissue, called sclerotia. The sclerotia vary in size and shape, have a course surface texture, vary in exterior color from dark black to gray to white and have a pure white interior.


Soft earth pellets (SEP)

Soft earth pellets are

  • Earth pellets that crumble into fine dust under light pressure, using a finger only—if they do not crumble, they are considered Stones
  • Any non-toxic material of similar consistency

Procedures

  1. Handpick soft earth pellets from a representative portion of the cleaned sample. Refer to Normal cleaning procedures
  2. Soft earth pellets are removed as dockage. See Composition of dockage.

Sprouted (SPTD)

7 canola seeds,  seeds 1-4 spouted, seeds 5-6 ruptured, seed 7 sound. Details below.

Sprouted canola is defined as those seeds having a ruptured seed coat in combination with either a sprout that protrudes beyond the normal contour of the seed (seeds 1 and 2) or distinct swelling of the seed (seeds 3 and 4). Seeds having a ruptured seed coat that are otherwise sound (seeds 5 and 6) are only considered sprouted when found in combination with seeds meeting the definition of sprouted (seeds 1, 2, 3 and 4).

Procedures

  1. Divide the sample to the appropriate representative portion.
  2. Handpick the representative portion for sprouted seeds.
  3. Determine the percentage by weight.

Note: Sprouted canola is included in “Total Damage” for grade assessment.


Staghead

Staghead or white rust is a fungal disease of canola. It affects the flowering parts of the plant, resulting in distorted antler-like structures that are often covered by white or grey powdery spores. For grading, staghead bodies are considered Conspicuous admixture.


Stones (STNS)

Stones are hard shale, coal, hard earth pellets, and any other nontoxic materials of similar consistency. Fertilizer pellets are assessed as stones when constituting 1.0% or less of the net sample weight. (See Fertilizer pellets for specific procedures to be followed when samples contain fertilizer pellets.)

Procedures

  1. Handpick stones from a representative portion of the cleaned sample.
  2. Determine stone concentration in the net sample.
  • In western Canada samples of grain containing stones in excess of “basic grade” tolerances, up to 2.5% are graded Canola, Rejected “basic grade” Account Stones. The “basic grade” refers to a grade established in the Canada Grain Regulations (grades listed in the first column in grade determinant tables) that would have been assigned to the sample if it contained no stones.
  • In eastern Canada samples of grain containing stones in excess of grade tolerances are degraded to lower grades. Samples containing stones in excess of the tolerance of the lowest grade established by regulation up to 2.5% are graded Canola, Sample Canada Account Stones.
  • In western and eastern Canada grain containing more than 2.5% stones is graded Canola, Sample Salvage.
Examples: Western Canada
Excerpt from grade determinant tables for Canola, Canada (CAN)
Grade name Stones %
number 1 Canada 0.05
number 2 Canada 0.05
number 3 Canada 0.05

Basic grade: Canola, number 2 Canada
Reason for basic grade: 4% Distinctly Green

Grade in western Canada if stones found
If the above sample contained Grade in western Canada
0.08% stones Canola, Rejected number 2 Canada Account Stones
3.0% stones Canola, Sample Salvage
Examples: Eastern Canada
Excerpt from grade determinant tables for Canola, Canada (CAN)
Grade name Stones %
number 1 Canada 0.05
number 2 Canada 0.05
number 3 Canada 0.05

Basic grade: Canola, number 2 Canada
Reason for basic grade: 4% Distinctly Green

Grade in eastern Canada if stones found
If the above sample contained Grade in eastern Canada
0.08% stones Canola, Sample Canada Account Stones
3.0% stones Canola, Sample Salvage

T

Treated seed and other chemical substances

Treated seed

Treated seed is grain that has been adulterated with an agricultural chemical for agronomic purposes. The types of agricultural chemicals used to treat seed include pesticides, fungicides and inoculants. These seed dressings contain a dye to render the treated seed visually conspicuous. The colour of the dye varies depending upon the type of treatment and the type of grain. The current Canadian colour standard for pesticide and fungicide seed treatments for cereal (including corn) is red or pink. The colour standard for pesticide and fungicide seed treatments for canola is blue; however, green has also been used. Pulse crop (including soybeans) pesticide and fungicide seed treatments are typically blue or green. The coatings or stains may appear greasy or powdery and the surface area covered may range from tiny flecks to complete coverage.

Other chemical substances

Other chemical substances refers to any chemical residues either adhering to the kernel or remaining in the sample and to samples having a chemical odour of any kind.

Important: Wear gloves and a mask to handle any samples that you suspect may contain contaminated grain

Procedures

If a sample is suspected of being coated with a pesticide, desiccant, inoculant or if the sample contains evidence of any foreign chemical substance other than fertilizer pellets, the sample shall be graded Canola, Held IP Suspect Contaminated Grain.

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