Food grading


Food grading

Food grading involves the inspection, assessment and sorting of various foods regarding quality, freshness, legal conformity and market value. Food grading often occurs by hand, in which foods are assessed and sorted. Machinery is also used to grade foods, and may involve sorting products by size, shape and quality. For example, machinery can be used to remove spoiled food from fresh product.

By food type


Inspected beef carcasses tagged by the USDA

Beef grading in the United States is performed by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural and Marketing Service. There are eight beef quality grades, with U.S. Prime being the highest grade and U.S. Canner being the lowest grade. Beef grading is a complex process.


In beer grading, the letter "X" is used on some beers, and was traditionally a mark of beer strength, with the more Xs the greater the strength. Some sources suggest that the origin of the mark was in the breweries of medieval monasteries Another plausible explanation is contained in a treatise entitled "The Art of Brewing" published in London in 1829. It says; "The duties on ale and beer, which were first imposed in 1643... at a certain period, in distinguishing between small beer and strong, all ale or beer, sold at or above ten shillings per barrel, was reckoned to be strong and was, therefore, subjected to a higher duty. The cask which contained this strong beer was then first marked with an X signifying ten; and hence the present quack-like denominations of XX (double X) and XXX (treble X) on the casks and accounts of the strong-ale brewers".

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