Almonds in the Shell Grades and Standards

Grades of Almonds in the Shell 

  1. U.S. No. 1 consists of almonds in the shell which are of similar varietal characteristics and free from loose extraneous and foreign material. The shells are clean, fairly bright, fairly uniform color, and free from damage caused by discoloration, adhering hulls, broken shells or other means. The kernels are well dried, free from decay, rancidity, and free from damage caused by insects, mold, gum, skin discoloration, shriveling, brown spot or other means.
a) Unless otherwise specified, the almonds are of a size not less than 28/64 of an inch (11.1 mm) in thickness.

b) In order to allow for variations incident to proper grading and handling, the following tolerances are provided as specified:

1) For external (shell) defects. 10 percent, by count, for almonds which fail to meet the requirements of this grade other than for variety and size;
2)For dissimilar varieties. 5 percent, by count, including therein not more than 1 percent for bitter almonds mixed with sweet almonds;
3)For size. 5 percent, by count, for almonds which are smaller than the specified minimum thickness;
4) For loose extraneous and foreign material. 2 percent, by weight, including therein not more than 1 percent which can pass through a round opening 24/64 inch (9.5 mm) in diameter: Provided, that such material is practically free from insect infestation; and,
5) For internal (kernel) defects. 10 percent, by weight, for almonds with kernels failing to meet the requirements of this grade: Provided, that not more than one-half of this tolerance or 5 percent shall be allowed for kernels affected by decay or rancidity, damaged by insects or mold or seriously damaged by shriveling: And provided further, that no part of this tolerance shall be allowed for live insects inside the shell.
  1. U.S. No. 1 Mixed consists of almonds in the shell which meet the requirements of U.S. No. 1 grade, except that two or more varieties of sweet almonds are mixed.

  2. U.S. No. 2 consists of almonds in the shell which meet the requirements of U.S. No. 1 grade, except that an additional tolerance of 20 percent shall be allowed for almonds with shells damaged by discoloration.
  3. U.S. No. 2 Mixed consists of almonds in the shell which meet the requirements of U.S. No. 2 grade, except that two or more varieties of sweet almonds are mixed.

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Detailed standards, Inspection Instructions & Other Resources: