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The asparagus market is in full bloom everywhere. As trade grows, so too does the need for clearly defined and agreed specifications for the industry to use. A new International Standard has just been published to support its healthy growth.

It’s been around since the Greeks and Romans first began cultivating it over two thousand years ago and its popularity is not waning. Julius Caesar liked it with melted butter and the Germans love it so much they have a museum dedicated to it.

Whatever way you like it, asparagus is a versatile, nutritious food, good for hangovers and a hit for summer barbecues. So, in the spirit of international collaboration and fair and global trade, ISO has developed an International Standard for it.

ISO 20981, Asparagus – Specification and test methods, outlines the requirements and test methods for fresh asparagus shoots. It applies to commercial varieties of asparagus grown from Asparagus officinalis L. of the Liliaceae family, offered to consumers after preparation and packaging.

The new standard covers the classification of the different varieties and colours of asparagus as well as the determination of properties such as acidity, packaging, storage, transport and more. Users of the standard can be assured that their tasty green (or white or violet) delights will meet international expectations for quality and taste.

ISO 20981 is one of hundreds of ISO International Standards dedicated to the food industry. It was developed by SC 3, Fruits and vegetables and their derived products, which is a subcommittee of technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products. Its secretariat is held by TSE, ISO’s member for Turkey.

ISO 20981 and other standards for asparagus can be purchased from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.

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