AMS-GD-2020-28 - Bar Decisions - Edible Beans

1. How would cowpeas function in a sample of Blackeye beans?

ANSWER. Cowpeas which differ in color, size, or shape from Blackeye beans would function as beans of a contrasting class. Cowpeas which are similar in color, size, and shape to the Blackeye beans would function as classes that blend.

2. Can carrier identification numbers/symbols on submitted samples be used for submitted sample identification?

ANSWER. Yes, according to the FGIS Policy Bulletin Board dated April 30, 1993, FGIS will certificate the identification for submitted samples as provided by the applicant for service.

3. Can reduced portion size be used for a sample of edible beans made sample grade or substandard?

ANSWER. No.  Reduced portion sizes are only stated for CCWB and IWOF..

4. How would a damaged Great Northern bean function in Pinto beans?

ANSWER. Damage and contrasting class.

5. Can an applicant have a Federal Appeal or Board appeal on a new sample for insect webbing or filth?

ANSWER. No, because these are considered a deleterious situation.

6. Can an applicant have a Federal appeal on a new sample for the determination of weevily/sample grade due to clean-cut weevilbored beans?

ANSWER. Yes, because these are not considered deleterious but, A Board Appeal must be done/based on the official file sample. Refer to General Information APpeal Inspection Services and Directive 9170.15, "Review Inspections of Grains and Commodities."

7. Can an applicant have a Federal appeal or Board appeal on an unworked file sample for the determination of weevily/Sample grade due to insect webbing or filth or clean-cut weevil-bored beans?

ANSWER. Yes, but unless there has been a material error made, it should be explained to the applicant that the Federal appeal or Board appeal of the unworked file sample will not remove the designation “Sample Grade.” Refer to General Information, Appeal Inspection Services.

8. When DKT is determined on a portion smaller than 500 grams, can defects (total) be determined on the small portion size?

ANSWER. No. The remaining factors that comprise defects (total) are still analyzed on the prescribed portion size. Refer to Defects.

9. How would a Pea bean covered by dirt (equal to or greater than the amount shown on VRI Bean 3.0 Dirt and Grime Affected) function in a sample of Pinto beans?

ANSWER. Contrasting classes and damage. Since the Pinto beans are the predominant class, the Pea bean would function as damage because of the dirt. Refer to Defects.

10. What does bearing grease function as when found on edible beans?

ANSWER. Unknown Foreign Substance. If two or more beans are found in a 1000 gram work sample, make the sample U.S. Sample grade. Because the substance is not considered deleterious, the sample grade designation may be removed either on the basis of a new sample or review of the file sample.

11. If an inspector questions whether the edible beans offered for inspection are uniform in size, what sieve(s) should be used in the determination of “not well screened?”

ANSWER. Suppliers of pinto and small red beans reportedly use a 9/64 roundhole sieve to separate small, undesirable beans and assure delivery of a uniform product. In view of this accepted practice, use the 9/64 sieve in the assessment of “not well screened” in these and other similarly sized classes of beans. For those  classes that are significantly larger or smaller in size, it is recommended that you contact a local/regional supplier to determine what sieve they commonly use for clean out purposes and use the same or similar sized sieve.

12. Do immature beans which have a green discoloration on the inside only (split) function as damage?

ANSWER. No, except for Chickpea/Garbanzo Beans as per VRI - Bean - 5.0 Green Damage (chickpea).

13. Can the barley pearler be used as an aid in grading edible beans that are suspected of containing a notable amount of internal damage?

ANSWER. Yes. But all other factor determinations have to be determined before pearling. (Refer to SPB’s memo dated 2/6/97).

14. The current definition of edible beans does not contain any language establishing a minimum percent of whole beans that must remain in the sample after the removal of dockage or a maximum limit for foreign material, as do other commodities. Does this mean that a sample may contain an unlimited amount of splits and FM and still meet the definition of “whole dry beans?”

ANSWER: Yes. According to the United States Standards for Beans, beans shall be dry threshed field and garden beans, whole, broken, and split, commonly used for edible purposes. The definition does not contain a percent maximum limit of split beans; therefore, a sample may contain large amounts and still meet the definition of beans. However, if the sample exceeds the percent maximum limit of FM, splits, or Total Defects, the sample would grade U.S. Substandard.

15. Are Cranberry beans considered white/off white for the determination for dirt/grime and water blistered damage?

ANSWER. Yes, in most instances. Aging Cranberry beans are the exception and the resulting discoloration must be considered in these visual assessments. The natural aging process darkens these beans such that their color approaches that of the pinto bean. As the color of the bean darkens, inspectors should use their judgement in determining which of the illustrated beans to use a guide. In the case of water blistered, the degree of discoloration will dictate which of the illustrated pinto beans to use.

16. Are Blackeyes with different colored eyes and/or size separated as either contrasting classes or classes that blend?

ANSWER. No. They are all considered Blackeye Beans.

17. How should an edible bean sample that contains two insect bored beans, the cavities of which have been invaded by mold, be graded?

ANSWER. U.S. Sample Grade, except for Blackeye Beans.. Technically, the beans in their present state do not meet the definition of clean cut weevil bored, the fact that the moldy condition occurred after-the-fact must not be ignored. As such, sufficient evidence is available to consider the beans  infested/weevily.

18. Do edible beans, (usually Pea beans or Great Northerns) which have a purple discoloration on the seed coat, function as damage?

ANSWER. Yes. Inspectors should use VRI Bean-9.0, “Mold Damaged Beans” (lower right bean) for a minimum color/coverage requirement. If any amount of purple discoloration penetrates the seed coat or is present on an exposed part of the bean, it is considered damage.

19. What does acrylic function as when found in edible beans?

ANSWER. Unknown Foreign Substance (FSUB)

20. How would you grade Dehydrated Pinto Beans?

ANSWER. Dehydrated Pinto Beans are a processed commodity and as a result, would be certified as Dehydrated Pinto Beans.

21. What does green plant matter function as when found on edible beans?

ANSWER. Plant material adhering to the seed coat in an amount equal to or greater than shown on VRI-Bean 3.0, “Dirt and Grime” (Pea Beans) or VRI-Bean 3.1, “Dirt and Grime” (other than Pea Beans), is considered damage.

22. In some instances Edible Beans function as Damage and Contrasting Classes. When this occurs are they scored only once against Total Defects?

ANSWER. No. Since they must be included in the reported percentage of each individual factor and total defects represents the sum of damage, foreign material, splits, and contrasting classes, they are essentially scored twice in the calculation of total defects.

23. Sometimes when Black beans are split to examine for internal damage the cotyledons are discolored a black/blue/gray. Are they considered damaged?

ANSWER. No. Carrington Research Extension Center, Carrington, North Dakota has evaluated this condition for evidence of fungal/bacterial growth and concluded that the condition/discoloration is a result of the seed coat pigment bleeding into the cotyledon, possibly due to poor (high moisture) harvesting conditions.

24. Damage for Pea beans are based on approximately 250 grams, but Badly Damaged(BD) beans are based on approximately 500 grams. How would damaged beans be determined?

ANSWER. Divide out 500 grams into two 250-gram portions. Pick and determine the percent of Damaged beans from the first 250-gram portion, then separate and weigh the BD and note its percentage to the hundredth (disregarding the thousandth). Pick BD from the second 250-gram portion and note its percentage to the hundredth (disregarding the thousandth). Add both BD together and round to the nearest tenth percent.

25. How do Black Kidney Beans function in Dark Red Kidney or Light Red Kidney Beans?

ANSWER. Contrasting Classes

26. Can Black Beans in which the seed coats are missing the black pigment (usually brown to maroon in color) be considered as damage or made DLQ? 

ANSWER. No. While the beans may detract from the general appearance and would appear to be candidates for damage, the US Dry Bean Council has advised FGIS that the condition is a sign of immaturity, and that due to the normally smaller size they can be easily cleaned out when processed. Thus, unless the beans are otherwise damaged, they are considered sound. And with the removal of color from the bean standards (2005), unless specifically requested by an applicant, color is no longer a relevant quality measure.

27. Are Pinto Beans with black streaks instead of the normal brown or mahogany red streaks considered as Contrasting Classes or Classes that Blend?

ANSWER: No. They are still certified as Pinto Beans.

28. In pea beans, the grading standard requires that the percentage of “Contrasting Classes” and “Foreign Material” be reported to the nearest hundredth percent for special grades “Choice Handpicked” and “Prime Handpicked.” If the requirements for these special grades are not met, do you still record the percentage of CCL and FM to the nearest hundredth percent?

ANSWER: Yes, up to 0.04%. Pea Beans that contain 0.05 percent or more of contrasting classes and/or foreign material are certified to the nearest tenth percent.

29. What does the presence of honeydew function as when found on edible beans?

ANSWER. Honeydew Damage, if the honeydew (a yellow/brown sticky substance secreted by an aphid) adhering to the seed coat in an amount equal to or greater than shown on VRIBean 3.0, “Dirt and Grime” (Pea Beans) or VRI-Bean 3.1, “Dirt and Grime” (Other than Pea Beans). Beans which contain a substantial amount of honeydew affected beans which are not considered damage should be graded Distinctly Low Quality (DLQ).

52. Can Black Beans in which the seed coats are missing the black pigment (varies from purple, pink, brown, maroon to white in color) be considered as Contrasting Classes.

ANSWER. No. While the beans may detract from the general appearance and would appear to be candidates for contrasting classes, the US Dry Bean Council has advised FGIS that the condition is a sign of immaturity, and that due to the normally smaller size they can be easily cleaned out when processed. With this in mind, remember that the standard’s definition limits Contrasting Classes to “beans of other classes that are of a different color, size, or shape from the beans of the class designated.” Color is not the single criterion to consider in this assessment. To function as contrasting classes, the bean first must be of another class. And with the removal of color from the bean standards (2005), unless specifically requested by an applicant, overall color is no longer a relevant quality measure.

54. Is mildew considered a surface mold and considered damage?

ANSWER. Yes. Mildew affected beans are considered mold damage if they meet VRI BEAN-9.0 Mold Damage. Beans containing any amount of mildew on the cotyledon are damaged.


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