New colour definition and tolerances for red lentils

Jul 05, 2012, 14:00 ET from Canadian Grain Commission

WINNIPEG, July 5, 2012 /CNW/ - On August, 1, 2012, grading changes to red lentils take effect in Western Canada, the Canadian Grain Commission announced. These changes include specifications for the percentage of copper and bleached seeds in red lentils.

"Based on scientific research and in close collaboration with the red lentil industry, the Western Standards Committee recommended changes to red lentil grading," explains Elwin Hermanson, Chair of the Western Standards Committee and Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission. "This illustrates how research, combined with input from the grain industry, guides changes to the grading system."

At its meeting on April 3, 2012, the Western Standards Committee recommended the following changes for red lentils:

  • New definitions for colour, bleached, copper and wrinkled
  • Tolerances for copper and bleached seeds
  • Addition of wrinkled seed tolerances

The new tolerances for bleached, copper and wrinkled seeds are included in the Western Standards Committee's April 3, 2012 recommendations.

New definitions
The following definitions will appear in the Official Grain Grading Guide as of August 1, 2012.

Colour - Lentils, red

Colour is evaluated after the removal of damaged lentils (excluding wrinkled). Bleached and copper seeds are evaluated to determine the overall colour. Tolerances for bleached and copper are reflected in the Primary Grade Determinant Table.


Bleached seeds have a whitened seed coat that is distinctly faded from the natural red colour of sound lentils. The discoloration must affect the entire seed coat. Lentils having a lighter pink shade that are contrasting with the overall sample are considered sound.

The red lentil colour guide may be used to assist in the determination of bleached seeds.


Copper seeds have a rust color covering both sides of seed and the entire seed coat. The rust colour is in distinct contrast with the natural red colour of sound lentils.

The red lentil colour guide may be used to assist in the determination of copper seeds.


Wrinkled seeds are characterized by a seed surface that has sharp ridges and pronounced depressions that could also be described as seed coat folds and indents. Wrinkles may be evident only on one side of the lentil. Lentils that only have dimpled seed coat or folds restricted only to the outside ring of the seed are considered sound.

The red lentil wrinkled guide may be used to assist in the determination of wrinkled seeds.

Bleached and copper tolerances

Research conducted at the Canadian Grain Commission has found that copper and bleached seeds in red lentils will lead to a decrease in dehulling efficiency. In addition, copper and bleaching affects the color of the cotyledons, making affected lentils less appealing for processors and end users.

Recommended tolerances

Grade name Copper Total bleached and copper
# 1 Canada 1% 3%
# 2 Canada 3% 10%
Extra # 3 Canada 10% 25%
# 3 Canada No limit No limit

Wrinkled seed tolerances

Canadian Grain Commission researchers and inspection experts have also studied various severity levels of wrinkled seeds to determine the appropriate tolerances for wrinkled lentils. Their research has indicated that the severity of the wrinkling can impact the de-hulling process and, therefore, the quality of lentils.

Recommended tolerances

Grade name Damage
Heated % Damage
split and
broken %
damage %
damage %
Wrinkled % Total
wrinkled %
# 1 Canada 0.2 2.0 1.0 2.0 2.0 4
# 2 Canada 0.5 3.5 2 3.5 5.0 8
Extra # 3 Canada 0.5 5.0 5.0 5.0 n/a n/a
# 3 Canada 1 10 10 10 n/a n/a

Request colour or wrinkled guide

To receive the red lentil colour or wrinkled guide, please contact:

Daryl Beswitherick
Program Manager, Quality Assurance Services
Canadian Grain Commission
Telephone: 204-983-4627

About the Western Standards Committee

The Western Standards Committee meets twice a year to recommend specifications for grades of grain, and to select and recommend standard and guide samples to the Canadian Grain Commission. Members represent different sectors of the grain industry and include grain processors, exporters and producers.

About the Canadian Grain Commission

The Canadian Grain Commission is the federal agency responsible for establishing and maintaining Canada's grain quality standards. Its programs result in shipments of grain that consistently meet contract specifications for quality, safety and quantity. The Canadian Grain Commission regulates the grain industry to protect producers' rights and ensure the integrity of grain transactions.




SOURCE Canadian Grain Commission