BS ISO 20981:2020 pdf download – Asparagus — Specification and test methods
This document specifies requirements and test methods for fresh asparagus shoots of commercialvarieties of asparagus grown from Asparagus officinalis L., of the Liliaceae family, offered to consumersafter preparation and packaging.
This document is applicable to all asparagus except green and violet/green asparagus with a diameterless than 3 mm and white and violet asparagus with a diameter less than 8 mm, packed in uniformbundles or unit packages.
This document does not apply to processed asparagus.
2Normative references
The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their contentconstitutes requirements of this document. For dated references,only the edition cited applies. Forundated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.ISO 874, Fresh fruits and vegetables —Sampling
ISO 2859-1,Sampling procedures for inspection by attributes — Part 1: Sampling schemes indexed byacceptance quality limit (AQL) for lot-by-lot inspection
ISO 4186,Asparagus —Guide to storage
ISo 6882,Asparagus — Guide to refrigerated transport
CXC44-1995,Code of Practice for Packaging and Transport of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
3Terms and definitions
No terms and definitions are listed in this document.
ISO and lEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:-ISO online browsing platform: available at
—IEC Electropedia: available at
4 Description
Asparagus shoots are subsoil, surface soil suckers and shoots of commercial varieties of asparagusgrown from Asparagus officinalis L. of the Liliaceae family, to be supplied fresh to the consumer, afterpreparation and packaging.
5Classification and requirements
Asparagus are divided into groups according to their colour (see 5.2.1), divided into classes accordingto their quality characteristics and diameter (see 5.2.2) and divided into sizes according to their length(see 5.2.3).
When asparagus are packaged in a bunch, to ensure a sleek appearance, the outer surfaces of the suckers’ end parts shall be trimmed as clean as possible.
5.3.2  Group requirements
The features of the four colour groups are:
— white: completely white;
— violet: purple, pink to purple tips;
— violet/green: part of both green and violet;
— green: ends and a portion of green.
5.3.3  Class requirements  General
The minimum diameters for different classes of asparagus are given in Table 1. Extra class
Shoots in this class shall be of superior quality, very well formed and practically straight. This class shallhave a unique colour.They shall be intact. The tips shall be very tight and in a closed state.The externalappearance of the product shall have no defects. The packaging shall not affect the presentation andquality of ingredients.
Only a few very slight traces of rust caused by non-pathogenic agents on the shoot, removable by normalpeeling by the consumer, are allowed.
For the white asparagus group, the tips and shoots shall be white; only a faint pink tint is allowed on theshoots.Green asparagus shall be green for at least 95 % of the length.
The cut at the base of the shoots shall be as square as possible. However, to improve presentationwhen the asparagus is packed in bundles, those on the outside may be slightly bevelled, so long as thebevelling does not exceed 1 cm.
Asparagus of this class shall show no sign of lignification.  Class I Shoots in this class shall be of good quality and well formed. These shall bear the characteristics of the group, such as the unique colour, and they shall also be well developed and whole. The ends shall be tight and closed but may be slightly skewed. Slight rust traces, which can be removed by regular peeling, are allowed.
For the white asparagus group, a faint pink tint may appear on the tips and the shoots. Woody suckers shall not be present in white asparagus. Slight lignification signs, which can be removed by regular peeling by consumers, are allowed in other colour groups of asparagus.
Green asparagus shall be green for at least 80 % of the length.
The cut at the base of the shoots shall be as square as possible.BS ISO 20981 pdf download.