Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Brussels Sprouts

General Requirements

The grades for Brussels sprouts are Canada No. 1 and Canada No. 2.

It is most common to see Brussels sprouts packed in:

  • 25 pound waxed cartons,
  • 30 pound cylindrical wooden drums or in,
  • 10 ounce and, 
  • 16 ounce plastic cups.


Brussels sprouts may be inspected by weight or by count.

In the case of the 30 lbs. type containers, if inspection is done by weight the inspector should examine a minimum of 3 lbs. from each container or if done by count the inspector should examine a minimum of 50 specimens from each container.

For master cartons containing plastic cups, the inspector should examine the entire contents of two cups from each master sampled whether or not inspected by weight or count.


  Canada No. 1 Canada No. 2
Diameter Minimum 1 inch
Maximum 2 inch
Minimum 1 inch
No Maximum
Length Maximum 2 3/4 inch Maximum 2 3/4 inch


  • When measuring the diameter, measure the greatest distance at right angles to line from the apex to the stem end.
  • When measuring the length, measure the distance from the apex to the attachment point of the outer leaf to the base. (Do not include the stem.)


Discolouration is always reported as a "Grade" factor at shipping point. However, at destination where it may have occurred in transit, discolouration should be reported as a "Condition" factor.

Canada No. 1
Sprouts should be a light to dark green colour characteristic of well grown sprouts. Any sprouts lighter than light green or any brown or black discolourations are scoreable.

Canada No. 2
Sprouts must be of a colour not lighter than yellowish green. Any sprouts more yellow or brown than yellowish green or any black discolouration are scoreable. At destination the inspector should give in general terms an indication of the extent of the discolouration for both grades.

Example: Average X%, range X% to X% of specimens show yellow to brown discolouration generally affecting 5% to 50%, mostly 10% of the surface of 2 to 3 leaves.


Canada No. 1
Sprouts must be firm, so that they yield only slightly to moderate pressure.

Canada No. 2
Sprouts need not be firm as described in the Canada No. 1 grade, but must not be soft or puffy. They should be of a reasonable weight for their size, should not be large and open, but may have considerable open spaces between the leaves in the lower portion of the head.

Condition Defects

Freshness: Sprouts which have been subjected to improper temperature or humidity conditions during transit may be soft and/or wilted. In such cases, scoreable specimens should be classified as condition defects.

Burst Heads: Any opening in the head which has resulted from unfavourable growing conditions is scoreable against both grades.

Withered Heads: These sprouts are more than wilted, are dry and have lost their characteristic shape. Usually this defect results from unfavourable growing conditions and is scoreable against both grades.

Seed Stems: Sprouts in which the seedstalk is showing or has plainly begun so that the sprout is misshapen, are scoreable against both grades.

Freezing Injury: Specimens which were "field frozen" would be scored at shipping point as either frozen specimens or as specimens failing to meet either the firmness or colour requirements, depending on the extent of the injury.

At destination, "transit freezing" would be scoreable as freezing injury only if ice crystals were present. If the specimens were thawed and deteriorated to the point that they failed to meet some other requirement such as colour, firmness, etc., then they would be reported as failing one of these later requirements.

Permanent Defects

Insect Injury

  • Insect injury normally would not progress in transit and therefore would nearly always be treated as a grade factor.
  • Both grades require that the sprouts be not materially affected by insect injury. Materially affected means injury affecting more than two leaves.
  • Sprouts showing the presence of insects, (more than a slight infestation) or more than slight damage to the compact portion of the head, or damage to the outer leaves materially affecting the appearance should be scored against either grade.

Mechanical Injury

Canada No. 1
Score if the injury affects more than 2 leaves.

Canada No. 2
Score if the injury affects more than 4 leaves.


  • Soft rot, slimy decay, or any other form of soft decay should be scored against both grades.
  • Any amount of decay on individual heads is scoreable.
  • The nature at destination of the decay, as well as the extent to which it affects the sprouts, should be described.

Other Defects

Canada No. 1
Any injury or defect or combination of defects not mentioned above that materially affect the appearance, edibility, or shipping quality should be scored against Canada No. 1 grade. Materially affected means injury affecting more than 2 leaves.

Canada No. 2
Any injury or defect, or combination of defects not mentioned above that seriously affect the appearance, edibility or shipping quality should be scored against Canada No. 2 grade. Seriously affected means injury affecting more than 4 leaves.

General Tolerances

  • 5% Any one defect
  • 2% Decay
  • 5% Undersize diameter
  • 5% Oversize diameter
  • 10% Oversize length
  • 10% Total