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By Elinore T. Greeley, Head,
Processed Products Standardization,
Fruit and Vegetable Division,
Consumer and Marketing Service.
Canned and frozen fruits, preserved at the peak
of goodness, are ready to serve as they come
from the container and are delicious ingredients
in salads, sauces, desserts, and other dishes.
They are convenient to use and are always
Processed fruits differ in quality-taste, tex-
ture, and appearanceand are usually priced
according to their quality.
Because different qualities of fruits are suited
differentt uses, you can make better buys by
f osing processed fruits in the quality that fits
.j r needs.
U.S. grade standards-measures of quality-
have been established for most processed fruits
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Consumer
and Marketing Service.
U.S. Grade A
U.S. Grade B
U.S. Grade C
Grade A fruits are the very best,
with an excellent color and uni-
form size, weight, and shape. Hav-
ing the proper ripeness and few
or no blemishes, fruits of this
grade are excellent to use for
special purposes where appear-
ance and flavor are important.
Grade B fruits make up much
the fruits that are processed
are of very good quality. Or
slightly less perfect than Grac
A in color, uniformity, and texture,
Grade B fruits have good flavor
and are suitable for most uses.
Grade C fruits may contain some
broken and uneven pieces. While
flavor may not be as sweet as in
higher qualities, these fruits are
still good and wholesome. They
are useful where color and texture
are not of great importance, such
as in puddings, jams, and frozen
Many processors, wholesalers, buyers for food
retailers, and others use the U.S. grade standards
to establish the value of a product.
USDA also provides an inspection service
which certifies the quality of processed fruits on
the basis of these standards. A voluntary service,
it is available for a fee. Under the continuous
inspection program, processed fruits are
spected by highly trained specialists during
phases of preparation, processing, a
When a product has been officially graded
under continuous USDA inspection, it may carry
the official grade name and the statement
"Packed under continuous inspection of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture." The grade name and
the statement may also appear within shields.
The grade name, such as "Fancy" or "Grade A,"
is sometimes shown without "U.S." in front of it.
If the grade name alone appears on a container,
contents should meet the quality for the
e shown, even though the product has not
n officially inspected for grade.
Progressive processors strive to maintain the
quality of their products, so the brand name of a
processed fruit may also indicate the quality.
Sometimes stores will offer different qualities
under different brands. Most processors pack
fruits in at least two grades.
Federal regulations require that the following
information be included on the front panel of the
label of a can or package.
The common or usual name
of the fruit.
NET WT. A 8 OZ
The form (or style) of fruit,
such as whole, slices, or
halves. If the form is visible
through the package, it
need not be stated.
For some fruits, the variety
Sirups, sugar, or liquid in
which a fruit is packed
must be listed near the
name of the product.
The total contents (net
weight) must be stated in
ounces for containers hold-
ing 1 pound or less. From
1 pound to 4 pounds,
weight must be given in
both total ounces and
pounds and ounces (or
pounds and fractions of a
The net weight of a product includes the sirup
or liquid in which it is packed.
Other information required on the label,
although not on the front panel, is:
Ingredients, such as spices, flavoring, color-
ing, special sweeteners, if used.
Any special type of treatment.
The packer's or distributor's name and place
Labels may also give the quality or grade, size,
and maturity of the fruit, cooking directions,
recipes or serving ideas. If the label lists
number of servings in a container, the law requi
that the size of the serving be given in common
measures, such as ounces or cups.
You may find the USDA grade shield on cans
or packages of fruits that have been packed under
continuous USDA inspection.
i NE CHERRIES
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Fruits for canning and freezing are harvested
at the proper stage of ripeness so that a good
texture and flavor may be preserved. Much of the
processing is done by automated equipment and
the fruits are handled little by plant workers.
Present-day practices help assure us of whole-
some, sanitary products with good flavor and
The initial work in preparing canned and frozen
its is similar. At the processing plant, the fresh
ejits are usually sorted into sizes by machine
I d washed in continuously circulating water or
under sprays of water. Some fruits, such as
apples, pears, and pineapple, are mechanically
peeled and cored. Next, they are moved on con-
veyor belts to plant workers who do any other
peeling or cutting necessary. Pits and seeds are
removed by automatic equipment, and the fruits
are also prepared in the various styles-halves,
slices, or pieces-by machine. Before the fruits
are canned or frozen, plant workers remove any
Cans or glass jars are filled with fruit by semi-
automatic machines. The containers are next
moved to machines that fill them with the correct
amount of sirup or liquid and then to equipment
that automatically seals them. The sealed cans
or jars are cooked under carefully controlled
conditions of time and temperature to assure that
the products will keep without refrigeration. After
the cans or jars are cooled, they are stored in
ml1, dry, well-ventilated warehouses until they
I shipped to market.
* ozen Fruits
Frozen fruits are most often packed with dry
sugar. After the initial preparation, packages are
filled with fruit by automatic equipment, sugar
or sirup is added, and the containers are auto-
matically sealed. The packaged fruit is then
quickly frozen in special low-temperature cham-
bers and stored at temperatures of 0 F. or lower.
Sizes and Servings
The size of a serving of processed fruits varies
because of the different styles of fruits and the
different ways of using them.
For fruit mixtures or small fruits that you
might serve by measurement, one-half cup is the
serving size commonly used for adults. Two
halves are the usual amount of individual serv-
ings of fruit pieces.
The most popular can sizes and the avera.
number of servings in them are:
Net Weight Servings
8-81/2 ounces --- 2
16-17 ounces ---- 3-4
29 ounces------ 7
The net weight shown on a label includes both
fruit and sirup. For the best buy, figure out the
cost per ounce. Large containers often cost less
per ounce, but not always.
To figure the number of servings in packages
of frozen fruits, consider the weight on the pack-
age as totally usable.
Proper storage is important in maintaining the
quality of processed fruits.
If you keep canned fruits in a place no warmer
than 750 F., they will usually retain their quality
for a year or more. The color, flavor, and texture
of canned fruits that have been stored at very
warm temperatures or for long periods of time
may not stay at top quality but the fruits still
will be safe to eat. Once a can has been openly
the fruit should be refrigerated if it is not for
Frozen fruits stored in an ice-cube compa
ment of a refrigerator usually will keep well for
only a few days. If kept in a separate refrigerator-
freezer compartment, most frozen fruits will keep
satisfactorily for several weeks. To maintain the
quality of frozen fruits for a longer time, store
them in a freezer that can maintain a temperature
of 0 F. or lower. If you wish to use only a portion
of a package, be sure to replace the remaining
portion in the freezer before it has thawed.
Tips on Containers
When buying canned fruit, avoid cans that show
signs of bulging or swelling at the ends or of leak-
age. Small dents in a can will not harm the con-
tents unless the dents have pierced the metal or
loosened the can seam.
Fruits sold in glass jars with twist-off lids are
t htly sealed to preserve the contents. If you find
By indication that the lid has been tampered
th, return the jar to the store and report it to
the store manager.
Frozen fruits should be frozen solid. If fruits
in a package are not firm, they may have lost
quality. Avoid buying frozen fruit with stains on
the package since this may indicate that the fruit
was defrosted at some time during marketing.
To insure the quality of frozen fruits, pick them
up as the last item on your grocery shopping and
take them home in an insulated bag.
A Consumer's Guide to
Canned and Frozen Fruits
The grade, style, and sirup or special flavorings
in which processed fruits are prepared all affect
the cost of the fruits and how you may want to
Most processed fruits are available in at least
two grades. The grade is not often indicated on
processed fruits, but you can learn to tell differ-
ences in quality by trying different brands. To
jp you choose the grade of fruit that will suit
use you have in mind, the grades of some of
Je most popular fruits are described in the list
t follows, along with the styles in which the
fruits are available.
You will find the style and the type of sirup or
special packing on the label of processed fruits.
Whole fruits or halves or slices of similar size
are more expensive than mixed pieces of various
sizes and shapes. You may choose among canned
Continued on page 14
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- GRADE C
Halves: Good yellow-orange color and texture
typical of proper ripeness.
Halves: Some variation in color. Slight defects,
such as a partial piece.
Mixed Pieces: Good average quality. Variation in
color and ripeness. Some blemished pieces.
Whole: Color very good-red to pinkish red. Uni-
form color and size.
Whole: Some variation in color and size.
Sliced: Slight variation in color and some mushi-
ness, characteristic of sliced style.
Continued from page 9
fruits packed in juice, special sweeteners, water,
slightly sweetened water, and heavy or extra
heavy sirup. The heavier the sirup, the sweeter
and more flavorful the fruit, and sometimes the
higher the price.
Grade A (or Fancy) fruits are the most flavorful
and attractive and therefore usually the most ex-
pensive. They are excellent to use for speci
luncheons or dinners, served as dessert, used
fruit plates, or broiled or baked to serve wi .
Grade B (or Choice) fruits, which are not quite
as attractive or tasty as Grade A, are very good
quality. They have many uses: as breakfast fruits,
in gelatin molds, fruit cups or compotes, topping
for ice cream, or as side dishes.
Grade C (or Standard) fruits vary more in taste
and appearance than the higher grades and they
cost less. They are useful in many dishes, espe-
cially where appearance is not important; for ex-
ample, in sauces for meats, in cobblers, tarts,
upside-down cake, frozen desserts, jam, or
Canned apples are available as slices and
chunky pieces, packed in water, in a thickened,
sweet and spicy sirup, or prepared with starch,
sugar, and spices as pie filling mix. More expen-
sive specialty packs are whole apples, cored like
baked apples, with or without the peel, and
artificially colored and spiced apple rings.
Applesauce, the most popular form of cannW
apples, is available in a chunky texture as well
as the pureed form. It may also be spiced or
combined with raspberries, strawberries, pine-
apple, apricots, or other fruits. Top quality apple-
sauce is a bright color, and there is little separa-
tion of liquid from the sauce when it is removed
from the container. Second quality applesauce
may be slightly thin or slightly stiff; separation of
liquid from the sauce is more noticeable; and the
color may be somewhat dull.
Canned apricots are delectable just as the,
come from the can or jar. They also add a piquant
flavor to sauces, salads, or baked goods. They are
usually packed in heavy or extra heavy sirup.
The styles most often found are unpeeled halves,
peeled whole apricots, and peeled whole apri-
s, with or without the pits. Even in the higher
ades, you may expect to find very small blem-
ishes or "freckles" on unpeeled apricots. Peeled
whole apricots, prepared from ripe, fleshy fruits,
may sometimes be soft, and the pits may be
Blackberries and similar berries
Several kinds of "cane" or "bush" berries are
prepared as whole frozen berries, packed with
or without sugar or sirup. Blackberries are the
most common, but you may also find boysen-
berries, dewberries, loganberries, or youngberries.
A favorite for pie making, canned blueberries
are sold as a ready-to-use pie filling mix, and
they are also packed in water or light sirup.
Frozen blueberries are good as dessert by
themselves or served with ice cream. Top quality
frozen blueberries, with their bright blue-purple
color, look much like the fresh berries.
Red tart cherries, sweet cherries, and mara-
schino cherries are the varieties you will find
preserved by canning.
Red tart, or pie, cherries are pitted and packed
in water or in a ready-to-use pie filling mix.
Sweet cherries are of two types, light and
dark. Most light sweet cherries are the Royal Anne
variety; usually they are not pitted, but some
pitted light cherries are available. Light sweet
cherries are often used as a side dish or
sauces. Dark sweet cherries usually are pitted.
they are the variety used to make CherrieW
Grade A sweet cherries are tender and thick-
fleshed, about the same size, with few cracks or
other blemishes. Light varieties are pinkish-yellow
to pale amber with a very light pinkish tan or
tanish brown blush. Dark varieties are deep red to
purple red or purple black. Their colors are bright
Grade B sweet cherries are thick fleshed but
may be slightly soft and vary somewhat in size.
The color of both light and dark varieties may be
Grade C sweet cherries are thin-fleshed and
vary from firm to soft in texture. Some may be
flabby. The size and color of both light and dark
varieties are not as uniform as those in the
Maraschino cherries are usually prepared from
sweet cherries. They are artificially colored, and
a specially flavored sirup gives them their distinc-
tive taste. Often called cocktail cherries, they are
very uniform in size, with pits removed, and are
available with or without stems.
Canned cranberry sauce, a favorite to serve
with chicken and turkey, is in jellied and whole-
berry styles. Top quality cranberry sauce is a
bright color, and the gel is tender. Whole-berry
style contains whole berries and parts of berries.
This naturally sweet fruit, known from ancient
times, is a delicious breakfast dish. Kadota figs,
the most common pack, are light greenish-yellow
to light amber. They are packed in sirup, most of
which comes from the fruit itself. The better
grades are always whole and practically uniform
in size. Figs that are split or broken, usually be-
cause of over-ripeness, are of lower quality.
Other types, found less frequently, are the
Ia Celeste and Mission varieties and "pre-
rved" figs, which are packed in a very thick
Grapefruit and citrus mixtures
Grapefruit sections may be canned, frozen, or
chilled. Mixed grapefruit and orange sections are
available canned, and the two fruits are also sold
as a chilled product in combination with pine-
apple pieces and whole maraschino cherries.
When this combination is garnished with coconut,
it is sometimes called "ambrosia fruits." In top
quality packs, the citrus segments are firm and
fleshy and at least three-fourths are whole.
Canned grapefruit and orange sections are used
as breakfast fruits or for salads.
Canned grapes, usually of the Thompson seed-
less variety, are the same kind used in fruit cock-
tail. They can be used in desserts or gelatin
SLds. Dressed up with artificial colors and
rors, and sometimes spiced, they are often
Iled "Grapes Jubilee."
Melon is one of the few fruits that normally is
processed only by freezing. The most popular
style is a mixture of honey dew melon and
Fruit cocktail, one of the best known canned
fruit mixtures, contains five fruits: diced yellow
peaches, diced pears, pineapple dices or tidbits,
green-white seedless grapes, and red maraschino
cherry halves. The mixture is one of a few
standardized by Federal law to give a definite
proportion of each of the fruits. Peaches and
pears make up the greater part of the mixture.
Fruits for Salad
Carefully selected and almost always of Grade
A quality, this canned mixture is a deluxe com-
bination of fruits intended principally for making
individual salads. Each can or jar contains ap-
proximately equal amounts of quarters or large
slices of peaches and pears, apricot halves, large
wedges of pineapple, and whole red maraschino
You can expect these numbers of servings
(one piece of each kind of fruit in a serving) in
these can sizes:
8 oz. ---- 2 servings
16 or 17 oz. -3 servings of large pieces or 4 serv-
ings of small pieces
29 or 30 oz. -5 or 6 servings of large pieces or 7
servings of small pieces
Also called salad fruit, this combination is
usually packed in heavy or extra heavy sirup.
Tropical Fruit Salad
Various tropical and other fruits are used
make up this interesting canned fruit mixtu
Check the label to see which fruits are included.
The most common mixture consists of pieces of
banana, pineapple, papaya, mango, passionfruit,
and melon, packed in sweetened juices from
passionfruit or other tropical fruits. Some mix-
tures contain mandarin orange sections, grapes,
and maraschino cherries. The varying flavors and
textures in tropical fruit salad make it an inter-
esting and different combination to use in salads
or fruit cups.
Other Mixed Fruits
Frozen mixed fruits are packaged in a wide
range of fruit combinations. The usual pack con-
sists of sliced peaches, dark sweet and red tart
pitted cherries, blackberries, raspberries, and
pared and elegant dessert. If a 10-ounce
ckage is not large enough for a family, you can
add sliced bananas, diced apples, mandarin
oranges, or melon balls.
Less familiar than other fruit mixtures are
canned mixtures of small dices and chips of
peaches and pears, often with green-white seed-
less grapes added. These mixed fruits are a
thrifty buy. They can be used in gelatin molds or
as fruit cocktail.
Most canned oranges sold in the United States
are imported. Called mandarin oranges, they are
packed as segments that are similar in shape
and color to tangerine segments. Because they
are naturally sweet, they are usually packed in
water or light sirups. They are also available
combined with pineapple segments or tidbits.
Mandarin oranges have a variety of uses; they
are excellent in gelatin molds and other salads
and in fruit cups.
e'Two types of canned peaches are available:
clingstone and freestone. Clingstone peaches
have a firm and smooth texture and clean-cut
edges. Freestone peaches have a softer texture
and raggedy edges. Both kinds are yellow to
yellow-orange, except for the seldom-seen white
Both types come in these styles: whole (usually
spiced), halves, slices, quarters, and mixed
pieces of irregular sizes and shapes. Once in a
while you may find diced peaches, but dices are
usually packed in canned fruit cocktail and other
Canned peaches are packed in light, heavy, or
extra heavy sirups, water, or slightly sweetened
Frozen peaches are usually sliced for easy-to-
serve dishes. They are also packed in frozen
mixed fruits. l
Canned pears may be found as halves, slices,
or quarters, and mixed pieces of irregular sizes
and shapes. Sometimes the variety, such as Bart-
lett, will be on the label. Pears as dices and chips
are used in fruit cocktail and other mixed fruits.
Top quality, Grade A, pear halves, quarters, and
slices have an almost translucent, very light color.
They neither vary much in size or shape nor have
a lot of trimmings or broken pieces. In this grade,
canned pears may have only a few slight blem-
ishes and rarely have any pieces of stem, peel, or
core. They also have a tender, even texture,
with no graininess or breakdown of flesh.
Grade B canned pears are slightly less perfect
than Grade A but are still of very good quality.
In Grade B, the texture may have moderate graini-
ness. In thrifty Grade C, you will find more
blemishes, greater variation in shapes, and more
Mixed pieces of irregular sizes and shapes are
always Grade B or Grade C because they i
uniformity of shape and vary in texture. But li
pieces are often very good in other respects.
Whole pears usually come colored and spicil
They usually rate Grade A because they are
specially selected as to size, freedom from
blemishes, and proper ripeness.
Canned pears are packed in light, heavy, or
extra heavy sirups and in water, slightly sweet-
ened water, or juices.
Pears are not available frozen.
Hawaii supplies us with most
of our processed pineapple
products. Puerto Rico, Mexico,
and other countries also ship
to the United States. Because
pineapple varieties are not the
same in each producing area,
slight color and flavor differ-
ces are normal.
anned pineapple is pre-
ed by special cutting ma-
nes to give almost perfect-
sized slices and other forms.
You will find 10 whole, cored
slices in a 20-ounce can and
8 slices in a 30-ounce can.
(The larger can holds slices
which are both larger in
diameter and thicker.) There
are also special flat cans con-
taining 4 to 5 slices.
Other popular and versatile
forms are crushed pineapple,
tidbits, and chunks or large
cube-like pieces. Special styles
include whole, cored cylinders
and spears. All of these styles
are most often of very high
quality. Half slices and broken
slices do not rate as high be-
cause of appearance.
Frozen pineapple is available
in a limited number of forms,
stly tidbits, chunks, and
hed. Often these are gar-
hed with mint or mint
Two principal types of plums are canned.
Purple plums (or prune-plums) are readily avail-
able, while the green-yellow plums (sometimes
called Green Gage or Yellow Egg) are not always
in stores. Purple plums usually are not peeled;
green-yellow plums are. Ordinarily neither type
is pitted. As with other fruits, plums are packed
in sirups of different sweetness.
Dried prunes in cans or glass jars are ready to
serve. Packed in their own juice, they are known
as "Prepared Prunes" or "Breakfast Prunes."
Both red and black raspberries are frozen and
canned. Because raspberries are so delicate, you
can expect some slightly crushed berries even in
high quality packs.
Frozen red raspberries are usually packed in a
sugar sirup. Handle them carefully and follow
package directions closely to keep these berries
plump and fresh looking.
Grown for its edible stalk, rhubarb is not really
a fruit but is used as one. Rarely canned, but
frozen with a high proportion of sugar, rhubarb
must be cooked before use. Before cooking, its
color will be pinkish to green.
A year-round favorite, frozen strawberries can
be purchased whole, sugared or unsugared. They
are also available as slices or halves with sugar
added. When thawed, the sugar melts with the
natural juices of the strawberries to form a sirup.
Frozen strawberries come in a wide range
of packaging: whole berries loose in large see-
through bags and all styles in cups, cartons, or
ecial fiber-metal cans. Quick-thaw pouches
ch can be placed in warm water) make it
sible to use the berries almost immediately.
n packages of Grade A frozen strawberries, a
high proportion are well-colored red berries or
slices. Whole berries are reasonably firm, not
seedy, and have only a few blemishes, stems,
or pieces of caps. Grade A sliced berries are
equally as good although there will be a few
mushy portions. Slicing and subsequent freezing
often cause mushiness of the riper berries.
Grade B frozen strawberries are less colorful
with more pinkish berries or slices.
Only limited amounts of strawberries are
canned, but canned strawberry pie fillings are
seen more and more often in stores. Because
strawberries become pale during canning, these
products are often artificially colored. If so, the
label will name the artificial coloring as well as
U. L DEPOT. OF
* Most canned and frozen fruits are
packed and priced according to quality
(grade) even if the grade isn't shown.
SEP 1 T 1974 SEP 1 0 1974 a
Grade A or Fancy-Top quality-deli-
cious, full-flavored fruits with excellent
color and uniform shape and size.
Grade B or Choice-Fruits with very
good flavor and color; not quite as
attractive as Grade A.
Grade C or Standard-Fruits that are
not as sweet or uniform in appearance
as Grades A and B; pieces may be
broken or uneven.
Whole fruits or halves or slices of
similar size cost more than mixed
pieces of various sizes and shapes.
The U.S. grade name on a can or i-
age means the fruit has been pac d
under continuous USDA inspection.
The grade name or the continuous in-
spection statement may be shown
within the USDA shield.
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