INSPECTION:     Inspection in relation to a commodity means “the process of determining whether a commodity in a particular lot complies with the standard specifications applicable to it or any other specification stipulated in the trade contract”.

                  Either whole lot or selected samples or sample which purport to represent the whole lot may be inspected before drawing a representative sample in order to observe whether the lots offered for grading are in sound and in merchandisable condition, free from moulds, weevils, obnoxious smell and excessive pesticidal residues. In case any part of the consignment is found sub-standard, it should be segregated and sampled separately and if any lot (s) contain pesticidal residues beyond the prescribed limits or is polished or coloured with prohibited dyes, such lot should also be sampled separately and the representative sample sent to the appropriate laboratory for chemical examination .The grading of such lots should not be carried out until the results are received.

     The commercial grading is subjective by nature and done generally by inspection method .As such, it not only requires technical expertise but adequate experience also to judge the commercial quality and to allot the grade on the spot. Therefore, before taking  up the grading work , the standard samples must be prepared in respect of the important commodities of that market area, which will help in comparing the quality of the produce offered for grading.The grade and other details may be recorded in a register  before examining next lot.On the basis of comprehensive inspection , the grades may be announced/allotted, as early as possible and a small plate indicating the grade or any appropriate indicator may be used to denote the grade.

SAMPLING:   The sampling either for the grading or for checking the correctness of the grading should be done most accurately, because unless the sample is truly representative of the entire lot, correct grading can not be done. The general characteristics of the commodity should be preliminarily inspected before drawing  samples from the lot.In the case of packed material or the packing material, stitching of the bags or metallic linings, the gross and net weight of the contents etc., should be invariably noted and verified . 


1.                  The key to the success in grading of a lot lies in drawing a truly representative sample, which reveals the exact composition of the commodity.

2.                  Primary sample.  Each sample drawn from the heap or bag by Parkhi or Tube sampler from a single position of the Lot.

3.                  Composite sample: Primary samples drawn from the same lot shall be thoroughly mixed and blended to form homogeneous composite sample in a sample divider.

4.                  Test sample: One portion of composite sample weighting 500 gms. And packed in cloth bag.

5.                  Sample for Moisture: Part of the composite sample weighing about 250 gms.  Pakced in polythene bag and heat-sealed kept in airtight container.

6.                  Labelling of sample: Gives all the details of the commodity, ie., Lot Number, quantity, name etc.  Label is affixed to the sample pack and sealed.

7.                  Sampling from bags: from bulk or heap depending upon lot size r = N/n, where N= No. Containers and n= Number of Containers to be sampled.  Every rth  bag is to be sampled.

8.                  Sampling scale:


For food grains

9.         (a)  Bags    Total No.of bags            No.of Bags to be sampled

30                                                                           All

31-300                                                               30

301-1000                                                        50

1001-2000                                                100

above 2001                         5%

            (b) Heaps      Heap                          Places to be sampled

                                          Upto 3000 Tonnes                           30 places

301-1000                                                                        50 places

above 1001                              100 places


No.of Bags  in a Lot            Weight of Oilseeds in a Lot            Number of Sub-Lot

Upto 300                                             Upto 30 tonnes                                    2

            Upto 1000                                            31 to 100 tonnes                                 3

1001 to 3000                                      101 to 300 tonnes                                 4

3001 & over                                      Over 300 tonnes                                   5

Sampling for bagged oilseeds
Number of bags in a lot

No of bags to be sampled
For Small oilseeds

Medium and Large oilseeds

Up to50 



51 to 100



101 to 150



151 to 300



301  and above




Weight of laboratory and Moisture Sample

Oilseeds                                                            Minimum weight of each of the

                                                                 Lab. Sample       Moisture Sample --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.  Small                                                                         200 gms             150 gms

2. Medium                                                                     600 gms             150 gms

3. large                                                                        1000 gms              250 gms


a)      Tube Sampler

b)      Deep Bin Probe

c)      Parkhi or Scoop

d)      Thermosampler

e)      Sample Divider


Commodity                                                                Weight in Grams

Small oil seeds (sesam, mustard, poppy, rape,

Linseed, hemp, cotton seed and others in the

Size range)                                                                              10.00

Medium oil seeds (Castor,palm, kernel, Groundnut,

Soyabean, mahua and others)                                                 100.00

Large oil seeds (Copra and other oil seeds in the

Same size range)                                                                    500.00


Wheat, maize, bareley, jowar, whole pulses                            50.00

Split pulses, husked & unhusked                                             20.00

Rice                                                                                        20.00

Millets                                                                                     10.00

ANALYSIS: After drawing the proper sample from the lot, correct sample size is taken to analyse the same for its various refraction and per centage by weight  of these refractions is calculated to know the tolerance limit prescribed for various grades and finally the grade is assigned for that commodity.Sample for moisture assessment is taken separately and moisture per centage is determined by any of the available moisture meter , before assigning the grade.


Enamelled tray, Analytical Balance, Sample Scoop, Standard Set of Sieves, Magnifying glass, Sample Bottle, Universal Electronic Moisture Meter or Farmex Electronic Moisture Meter.


All particulars of the sample should be checked and entered in a Register

For analysis, sample should be emptied on a flat smooth surface, thoroughly mixed on the table in a circular layer of 1.5 cm to 5 cm thickness.

Oil seeds should be smoothly scooped out from the Center, sides and different point on the surface all round and weighed exactly.

Oil seeds having greenish tinge on seed coat should be separated by hand in gloves to prevent the spread of aflatoxin.

If Argemone mexicana seeds are found in mustard/rape seed, the same should be sieved out to avoid health hazard.


200 gms for small oil seeds

600 gms for medium oil seeds

1000 gms for large oil seeds

Sample is poured over set of sieves, agitated thoroughly to strain out the foreign matter at various levels.

The sieves are then separated and all the foreign matter is picked up ;by hand and added to the foreign matter collected at the bottom and per centage of FM is obtained.

Top sieve will contain bold seeds and lower sieve will contain smaller one. 

The contents of the upper sieves should be mixed and spread out evenly in a thin circular layer.  From this surface, prescribed size of the sample for analysis may be taken.

For groundnut, a separate  small lots of 100 gms would be taken for determination of shelling percentage (Kernels/Pods)

Moisture of oil seeds is determined by the Hot Air Oven method, heating at 135 + 3 C for two hours.  Only hermetically sealed sample separately drawn for the purpose should be used.


     Grains having greenish tinge on seed coat should be separated by hands in gloves to prevent the spread of aflatoxin.  Thoroughly mix and spread the sample on the table or glass tops in a circular layer of about 1.5 to 2.5 cm thickness and even out with a ruler.  Smoothly scoop out the sample from the Center, sides and different points on the surface all around and weigh exactly 250 gms. Of samples, taking care that no dirt is left over from the sample, which has been removed.  Pour the sample over the appropriate sieve and remove the dirt component of the foreign matter.  Weigh the dirt and multiply it by 0.4 to work out the percentage.  Analyse on an enamelled tray and calculate percentage of each refraction on weight basis and assign the grade on the basis of analytical data on factorial basis.

CERTIFICATION: A procedure by which a third party gives written assurance that a product, process or service conforms to specified requirements. Certification involves the issue of, a certificate or a mark (or both) to demonstrate that a specific product meets a defined set of requirements for that product, usually a standard.

       The mark carries a reference to the number or name of the relevant product standard against which the product has been certified .A product bearing a mark carries a third party guarantee that-

q       The product has been produced according to specified standard

q       Production has been supervised and controlled

q       Product has been tested and inspected

Customers can approach certification agency, if the product does not meet the declared standards

           Certification agency uses various evaluation techniques, before issuing the certificate such as testing of the product, in process quality control, surveillance visit to factory and testing the samples drawn from the open market.

            In India, for agricultural commodities, Directorate of marketing  &Inspection, Govt of India, is the designated certification body, which is empowered to issue the certificate to the quality of notified commodities graded under Agmark. Generally, Agmark standards are accepted internationally, however, with the advent of WTO, the international requirements for quality have become more specific (Codex Standard) and need to be incorporated in the domestic or national standards strictly, to match them with the standards prevailing in the international parlance.

            For products in the regulated sector, one can contact the enquiry points ( In India, it is Director (Quality system), Bureau of Indian Standards, Manak Bhavan, 9- Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi110002) setup in the country under WTO agreement on TBT and from these points, the needed information, technical regulation and conformity procedures may be obtained from its counterparts in the target market.

              A supplier’s declaration of conformity is a procedure by which a supplier gives written assurance that a product, process or service conforms to specified requirements. The details include-

q       Name and address of supplier

q       The identification of the product, process or service

q       Conformity statement

q       The reference normative document(standards, technical regulation etc)

q       Date and place of issue of declaration

q       The authorised signatory on behalf of the supplier

PACKING:-  Agricultural commodities should be packed in new packing material which is hygienic and capable of  maintaining the quality  including organoleptic characteristics and quantity of the produce intact  during the course of its distribution .Generally for foodgrains new ,clean jute bags, cloth bags, polywoven bags, polyethylene, high density ployethylene or other foodgrade plastic / packaging material free from any insect infestation or fungal contamination, which are safe and suitable for their intended use are used .They should not impart any toxic substance  or undesirable odour or flavour to the produce Produce should  be packed only after proper drying, cleaning and grading.Package should contain only one grade produce in standard pack size( As per the provisions of PFA Act 1955 and Packaged Commodity rules 1977; if the consignment is for export, it should conform to the provisions of Technical Barriers to Trade –TBT).

              Fruits and vegetables shall be packed in each container in compliance with recommended International Code of Practices for Packaging and Transport of tropical Fresh fruits and vegetables (CAC RCP-44-1995) for export and as per the instructions issued by the Agricultural Marketing Adviser from time to time for domestic market

               Contents of each package or lot must be uniform and contain only produce of the same origin, variety and grade designation

MARKING :Marking is the action and result of stamping, inscribing ,printing,labelling etc, marks, symbols, numeral letters etc upon a product itself or on its package, for the purpose of identifying the product and its origin and giving its basic characteristic its intended use etc.

LABELLING:  It is a means for the identification and presentation of a container or package, a means for protecting the contents against pilfering as they form a security- seal. Gives information regarding batch number or quality control reference, may either be printed directly on the packaging or on the printed label itself by the packer applying the label. Following  details  on each  package clearly and indelibly marked-

1.      The grade designation mark shall be securely affixed to or printed on each package in a manner approved by the Agricultural Marketing Adviser or an officer authorised by him in this behalf.

2.      Name of the commodity

3.      Variety

4.      Grade designation

5.      Size code(if prescribed)

6.      Lot / batch / code number

7.      Country of origin

8.      Net weight / No of units

9.      Name and address of the packer / exporter

10.  Best before date (where applicable)

11.  Storage condition, if any

12.  Date of packing

13.   Such other particulars as may be specified by the Agricultural Marketing Adviser

14.  The used for marking on packages shall be of such quality which may not contaminate the product.

                    For domestic trade, fruits, vegetables shall comply with the residue levels of heavy metals, pesticides as specified in Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955, as amended