Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1677/88 of 15 June 1988 laying down quality standards for cucumbers


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community,

Having regard to Council Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 of 18 May 1972 on the common organization of the market in fruit and vegetables (1), as last amended by Regulation (EEC) No 1117/88 (2), and in particular Article 2 (3) thereof,

Whereas Council Regulation No 183/64/EEC (3) lays down quality standards for cucumbers;

Whereas a change has occurred in the production and marketing of those products, particularly as regards the requirements of consumer and wholesale markets; whereas the common quality standards for cucumbers should therefore be changed to take those new requirements into account;

[etc etc]


Article 1

The quality standards for cucumbers, falling within subheading 0707 00 11 and 0707 00 19 of the combined nomenclature shall be as set out in the Annex hereto.

Those standards shall apply at all marketing stages, under the conditions laid down in Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72.

However, at stages following dispatch the products may show, in relation to the standards prescribed a slight lack of freshness and turgescence and slight alteration due to their biological development and their tendency to perish.

[etc. And now, the really good stuff:]



This standard applies to cucumbers grown from varieties (cultivars) of Cucumis sativus L. to be supplied fresh to the consumer, cucumbers for processing and gherkins being excluded.


The purpose of the standard is to define the quality requirements for cucumbers after preparation and packaging.

A. Minimum requirements

In all classes, subject to the special provisions for each class and the tolerances allowed, cucumbers must be:

- intact,

- sound; produce affected by rotting or deterioration such as to make it unfit for consumption is excluded,

- fresh in appearance,

- firm,

- clean, practically free of any visible foreign matter,

- practically free from pests,

- practically free from damage caused by pests,

- free of bitter taste (subject to the special provisions for classes II and III under the heading 'Tolerances'),

- free of abnormal external moisture,

- free of foreign smell and/or taste.

Cucumbers must be sufficiently developed but their seeds must be soft.

The condition of the produce must be such as to enable it:

- to withstand transport and handling, and

- to arrive in satisfactory condition at the place of destination.

B. Classification

Cucumbers are classed into the four classes defined below:

(i) 'Extra' class

Cucumbers in this class must be of superior quality. They must have all the characteristics of the variety.

They must:

- be well developed

- be well shaped and practically straight (maximum height of the arc: 10 mm per 10 cm of length of the cucumber)

- have a typical colouring for the variety

- be free of defects, including all deformations and particularly those caused by seed formation.

(ii) Class I

Cucumbers in this class must be of good quality. They must:

- be reasonably developed

- be reasonably well shaped and practically straight (maximum height of the arc: 10 mm per 10 cm of the length of cucumber).

The following defects are allowed:

- a slight deformation, but excluding that caused by seed formation

- a slight defect in colouring, especially the light coloured part of the cucumber where it touched the ground during growth

- slight skin blemishes due to rubbing and handling or low temperatures, provided that such blemishes have healed and do not affect the keeping quality. (iii) Class II:

This class includes cucumbers which do not qualify for inclusion in the higher classes but satisfy the minimum requirements specified above. However, they may have the following defects:

- deformations other than serious seed development,

- defects in colouring up to one-third of the surface; in the case of cucumbers grown under protection,

considerable defects in colouring in the affected part are not allowed,

- healed cracks,

- slight damage caused by rubbing and handling which does not seriously affect the keeping quality and appearance.

All the defects listed above are allowed for straight and slightly crooked cucumbers.

On the other hand, crooked cucumbers are allowed only if they have no more than slight defects in colouring and have no defects or deformation other than crookedness.

Slightly crooked cucumbers may have a maximum height of the arc of 20 mm per 10 cm of length of the cucumber.

Crooked cucumbers may have a greater arc and must be packed separately.

(iv) Class III (1):

This class includes cucumbers which do not qualify for inclusion in the higher classes but satisfy the requirements specified for Class II. However, crooked cucumbers may have all the defects allowed in Class II for straight and slightly crooked cucumbers and they must be packed separately.


Sizing is determined by the weight of the cucumber.

(i) Cucumbers grown in the open must weigh 180 g or more. Cucumbers grown under protection must weigh 250 g or more.

(ii) Moreover, 'Extra' Class and Class I cucumbers grown under protection weighing:

- 500 g or more must be not less than 30 cm long,

- between 250 and 500 g must be not less than 25 cm long.

(iii) Sizing is compulsory for classes 'Extra' and I.

The difference in weight between the heaviest and lightest cucumbers in the same package must not exceed:

- 100 grams where the lightest piece weighs between 180 and 400 grams,

- 150 grams where the lightest piece weighs 400 grams or more.

(iv) The provisions concerning sizing are not applicable to 'short cucumbers'.
I Bureacracy


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