Apple Grades & Standards

Grades of Apples

1. U.S. Extra Fancy - “U.S. Extra Fancy” consists of apples of one variety (except when more than one variety is printed on the container) which are mature but not overripe, clean, fairly well formed, free from decay, internal browning, internal breakdown, soft scald, scab, freezing injury, visible water core, and broken skins. The apples are also free from injury caused by bruises, brown surface discoloration, smooth net-like russeting, sunburn or sprayburn, limb rubs, hail, drought spots, scars, disease, insects, or other means. The apples are free from damage caused by bitter pit or Jonathan spot and by smooth solid, slightly rough or rough russeting, or stem or calyx cracks, as well as damage by invisible water core after January 31st of the year following the year of production except for the Fuji variety of apples. Invisible water core shall not be scored against the Fuji variety of apples under any circumstances. For the apple varieties listed in Table I of §51.305, each apple of this grade has the amount of color specified for the variety.
 
2. U.S. Fancy - “U.S. Fancy” consists of apples of one variety (except when more than one variety is printed on the container) which are mature but not overripe, clean, fairly well formed, and free from decay, internal browning, internal breakdown, soft scald, freezing injury, visible water core, and broken skins. The apples are also free from damage caused by bruises, brown surface discoloration, russeting, sunburn or sprayburn, limb rubs, hail, drought spots, scars, stem or calyx cracks, disease, insects, bitter pit, Jonathan spot, or damage by other means, or invisible water core after January 31st of the year following the year of production, except for the Fuji variety of apples. Invisible water core shall not be scored against the Fuji variety of apples under any circumstances. For the apple varieties listed in Table I of §51.305, each apple of this grade has the amount of color specified for the variety.
 
3. U.S. No. 1 “U.S. No. 1” consists of apples which meet the requirements of U.S. Fancy grade except for color, russeting, and invisible water core. In this grade, less color is required for all varieties listed in Table I of §51.305. Apples of this grade are free from excessive damage caused by russeting which means that apples meet the russeting requirements for U.S. Fancy as defined under the definitions of “damage by russeting,” except the aggregate area of an apple which may be covered by smooth net-like russeting shall not exceed 25 percent; and the aggregate area of an apple which may be covered by smooth solid russeting shall not exceed 10 percent: Provided, That, in the case of the Yellow Newtown or similar varieties, the aggregate area of an apple which may be covered with smooth solid russeting shall not exceed 20 percent. Each apple of this grade has the amount of color specified in §51.305 for the variety. Invisible water core shall not be scored in this grade. 
a. U.S. No. 1 Hail: “U.S. No. 1 Hail” consists of apples which meet the requirements of U.S. No. 1 grade except that hail marks where the skin has not been broken and well healed hail marks where the skin has been broken, are permitted, provided the apples are fairly well formed. (See §§51.305 and 51.306.)
b. [Reserved]
 
4. U.S. Utility- “U.S. Utility” consists of apples of one variety (except when more than one variety is printed on the container) which are mature but not overripe, not seriously deformed and free from decay, internal browning, internal breakdown, soft scald, and freezing injury. The apples are also free from serious damage caused by dirt or other foreign matter, broken skins, bruises, brown surface discoloration, russeting, sunburn or sprayburn, limb rubs, hail, drought spots, scars, stem or calyx cracks, visible water core, bitter pit or Jonathan spot, disease, insects, or other means. 
 
5. Combination grades.
(a) Combinations of the above grades may be used as follows:
(1) Combination U.S. Extra Fancy and U.S. Fancy;
(2) Combination U.S. Fancy and U.S. No. 1; and
(3) Combination U.S. No. 1 and U.S. Utility.
(b) Combinations other than these are not permitted in connection with the U.S. apple grades.
 
When Combination grades are packed, at least 50 percent of the apples in any lot shall meet the requirements of the higher grade in the combination. 
 

Visual Aids

Official Visual Aids are available for Purchase.  See How to Purchase Visual Aids for more details.
 

Detailed standards, Inspection Instructions & Other Resources: