Sunflower seeds - Chapter 14 | Official Grain Grading Guide

Grading factors

Contaminated grain

Contaminated grain

Important:

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

Contaminated is defined in the “Canada Grain Act” as; “Contaminated means, in respect of grain, containing any substance in sufficient quantity that the grain is unfit for consumption by persons or animals or is adulterated within the meaning of the regulations made pursuant to sections B.01.046(1), B.15.001 and B.15.002(1) of the Food and Drugs Act.”

Samples deemed to be contaminated by the Grain Research Laboratory in consultation with the Chief Grain Inspector for Canada are graded Sunflower Seed, Sample Condemned.

Damage (DMG)

Damage (DMG)

Damaged seeds show at least one of following characteristics:

  • Head rot damage
  • Heated, rotted or mouldy
  • Very immature
  • Insect-damaged
  • Otherwise materially damaged
Dehulled (DHULL)

Dehulled (DHULL)

Hulled seeds are broken and whole seeds that are without hulls.

Earth pellets

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 (ERG)

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

Excreta (EXCR)

Excreta (EXCR)

Excrement from any animal including mammals, birds and insects.

Important:

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

Fertilizer pellets (FERT PLTS)

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.

Note:

Canadian Grain Commission personnel should refer to ISO national work instruction “Suspect Contaminated Grain, Handling Procedures” for procedures to be followed when handling samples containing fertilizer pellets.

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 Sunflower Seed, Held IP Suspect Contaminated Grain.
Fireburnt (FBNT)

Fireburnt (FBNT)

Fireburnt seeds are those that show any signs of being charred or scorched by fire.

Foreign material (FM)

Foreign material (FM)

Foreign material in sunflower seed includes other grains, sclerotinia and stones.

Head rot damage

Head rot damage

Head rot is damage most frequently caused by sclerotinia head rot disease.

Damage includes
Hulls with 50% or more of the surface covered by white patches
Seeds that are off colour, e.g., tan to dark brown
Seeds that may contain small black sclerotia

Procedures

  1. Using a Boerner-type divider, divide a representative portion for hulls.
  2. Examine the portion and remove hulls with white patches covering 50% or more of the hull.
  3. Divide the remaining representative portion for a subsample not less than 5 g.
  4. Remove the hulls and examine the seeds for off-colour and the presence of sclerotia.
Heated, rotted or musty (HTD)

Heated, rotted or musty (HTD)

Heated seeds have the colour and or odour typical of seeds that have heated in storage or have been damaged by artificial drying.

Procedures

  1. Pass the representative portion of the clean sample through a barley pearler for 3 to 5 seconds.
  2. Separate heated, rotted or musty kernels from sound kernels.
  3. Heated seeds of other grains are included in the tolerance for Heated.

If you are unsure whether the kernel is heated, rotted or musty, cut the seed lengthwise and examine the exposed meat. Brown-coloured meat is considered to be heated.

Insect damage (I DMG)

Insect damage (I DMG)

Insect-damaged seeds have hull perforations of any size caused by insects and include any hulled seeds which have been bored or chewed by insects.

Odour (ODOR)

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 sunflower seeds.
If odour is the grade determinant and there is . . . Then the grade is . . .
An excessive objectionable odour not associated with the quality of the grain, but not heated or fireburnt Sunflower, Sample Canada Account Odour
An excessive heated odour Sunflower, Sample Canada Account Heated
An excessive fireburnt odour Sunflower, Sample Canada Account Fireburnt
Other grains (OGS)

Other grains (OGS)

Other grains are any other grains that are not removed during cleaning. Other grains are considered a grading factor and are added to the dockage.

In samples eligible for off-grades, other grains are considered a grading factor and are not added to the dockage.

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (SCL)

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 coarse surface texture, vary in exterior color from dark black to gray to white and have a pure white interior.

In samples eligible for off-grades, sclerotia are considered a grading factor and are not added to the dockage.

Soft earth pellets (SEP)

Soft earth pellets (SEP)

Soft earth pellets are pellets that crumble under light pressure from a finger—if they do not crumble, they are considered stones. These pellets can be

  • Earth and fertilizer pellets
  • Any non-toxic material of similar consistency

Procedures

Earth pellets may be removed as dockage. See Normal cleaning procedures.

In samples eligible for off-grades, soft earth pellets are considered a grading factor and are not added to the dockage.

  1. Return the pellets to the sample.
  2. Handpick soft earth pellets from a representative portion of 100 g of the cleaned sample.
  3. If soft earth pellets is the grade determinant, grade the sample Sunflower Seed, Sample Canada Account Admixture.
Stones (STNS)

Stones (STNS)

Stones are hard shale, coal, hard earth pellets, and any other non toxic 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 Sunflower Seed, 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 Sunflower Seed, Sample Canada Account Stones.
  • In western and eastern Canada grain containing more than 2.5% stones is graded Sunflower Seed, Sample Salvage.

Examples: Western Canada

Excerpt from grade determinant tables for Sunflower Seed, Canada, Oil
Grade name Stones %
No. 1 Canada 0.1
No. 2 Canada 0.1

Basic grade:....................... Sunflower Seed, No. 1 Canada, Oil

Grade in western Canada if stones found.
If the above sample contained Grade in western Canada
0.2% stones Sunflower Seed, Rejected No. 1 Canada Oil Account Stones
3.0% stones Sunflower Seed, Sample Salvage

Examples: Eastern Canada

Excerpt from grade determinant tables for Sunflower Seed, Canada, Oil
Grade name Stones %
No. 1 Canada 0.1
No. 2 Canada 0.1

Basic grade:....................... Sunflower Seed, No. 1 Canada, Oil

Grade in eastern Canada if stones found.
If the above sample contained Grade in eastern Canada
0.2% stones  
3.0% stones Sunflower Seed, Sample Salvage
Treated seed and other chemical substances

Treated seed and other chemical substances

Treated seed

Treated seed is grain that has been coated with an agricultural chemical for agronomic purposes. 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 standards for pesticide seed treatments are: cereals–pink or red, canola–baby blue or green. Seed treated with an inoculant may have a green stain. The coatings or stains may appear greasy or powdery and surface area distribution ranges 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.

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 Sunflower Seed, Held IP Suspect Contaminated Grain.

Note:

Canadian Grain Commission personnel should refer to ISO national work instruction “Suspect Contaminated Grain, Handling Procedures” for specific procedures to be followed when handling samples suspected of containing treated seed or other chemical substances.

Varieties

Varieties

Sunflower seed is graded according to end use, either confectionary or oil.

On written request, the name of the variety as described by the owner or shipper may be shown as a notation in the remarks section of a certificate; for example, Said to be Commander variety.

Very immature seeds (VIM SDS)

Very immature seeds (VIM SDS)

Very immature seeds are whole sunflower seeds that contain no meat.

Procedures

  1. Using a Boerner-type divider, divide a representative portion.
  2. Separate whole shrunken seed kernels from sound kernels.
  3. Determine the percentage of seeds that do not contain meat by either pressing the seed on a hard surface with finger pressure or by manually opening the seed.
  4. Very immature seeds are included in the percentage of damaged seeds for grade determination.