New standard sets method for identifying seed that’s likely to spoil

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International standards group ASTM has established a method and guidelines for fast on-site quality assessment of hempseed. The standards are geared toward those who store hempseed for later processing into food or food ingredients, ASTM said.

Recently approved by ASTM’s committee on cannabis, the standards provide guidance to farmers and other supply chain participants – plant breeders, hemp seed producers, storage facilities, laboratories, and processors – while assuring food quality and consumer safety. The new standards can advance international trade, ASTM said

Identifying bad seed

“We want farmers, food companies, consumers, and all the links in between to know that this guide is supported by their sector as an achievable and credible way to assess potential spoiling and help their business deliver acceptable products,” said Terry Grajczyk, an ASTM International member who represents the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance.

The new standards provide a method for identifying hempseed lots that are likely to spoil by quantifying de-hulled seed that is discolored. Samples from lots or batches that display more than 2% discolored de-hulled seed are considered to be compromised under the standards. ASTM said the analysis can be augmented with laboratory tests to determine spoilage.

Quickly identifying seed that is unsuitable for food gives stakeholders the opportunity to seek alternative uses for that material, ASTM said.

Reducing waste

“Product wastage will be reduced when spoilage is identified early, and decisions to re-target other viable uses may help assess pricing, discounts, and salvageable seed,” according to the standard (ASTM D8400) “Standard Guide for Assessing Spoilage of Hemp Seed Intended for Human Consumption.”

ASTM said its guidance on hempseed is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and international standards of the World Trade Organization.

One of the largest voluntary standards organizations in the world, U.S.-based ASTM is a not-for-profit that provides a forum for the development and publication of international consensus standards for materials, products, systems and services. ASTM’s volunteer members represent producers, consumers, government, and academia from more than 140 countries.

The new standards on hulled hempseed are available from ASTM for $48.00 (~€42.00)

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