Grading Guide: Watermelon
Illustrated Criteria for USDA Fancy Watermelon

A USDA Fancy Watermelon is:

Mature
Similar Varietal Characteristics
Fairly Well Formed
Seedless watermelon are watermelons which have 10 or less mature seeds, not to include pips/caplets, on the face of the melon which has been cut into four equal sections (one lengthwise and one crosswise cut).
Not Overripe
(Above is Overripe)

A USDA Fancy Watermelon is free from these defects:

Photo source: USDA/AMS Fruit and Vegetable Programs

Whiteheart Photo source: USDA/AMS Fruit and Vegetable Programs

Anthracnose
Decay
Sunscald
Whiteheart
 
Damage by any means

Photos below illustrate categories of damage specified in the USDA Fancy criteria.

Check classification of defects for allowable limits.

two one three
Surface Damage:
(Rind Worm, Hail, Transit Rubbing, etc.)
Hollow Heart
Internal Rind Spot
   
Side Bruises
End Bruise

C. Gunter and E. Maynard, Purdue University. 2006. Based on US Standards for Grades of Watermelon 01-15-78 reprinted 01-78. Page last revised 07-25-06.

This project made possible by financial assistance from Indiana's Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture, Value-Added Research Grant Program.

 

 

Grading Guide: Watermelon
Definitions of Criteria for USDA Fancy Watermelon

Categories of Damage:

Sunburn
Hail, Rind Worm Injury Scars and Other Similar Defects Except Anthracnose
Whiteheart
Hollow heart
  • Area exceeds 9 sq. in. (58 sq. cm) of greenish-yellow sunburn of a 25 lb. (11.3 kg) watermelon
  • Aggregating more than 5 sq. in (32 sq. cm) on a 25-lb. (11.3 kg) watermelon
  • A hard white streak of flesh extending though the heart of the watermelon exceeding a circle 1/4 in. (6 mm) in diameter
  • Cracks aggregating more than 1-1/4 in. (33 mm) in width on a 25-lb (11.3 kg) long-type watermelon or the aggregate width exceeds 2 in. (51 mm) on a 25-lb (11.3 kg) round-type watermelon

 

Internal Rind Spot
Soft ends
Transit rubs
Bruises
  • Aggregate area exceeds a circle 1 in. (25 mm) in diameter
  • End yields readily to slight pressure applied by palm of the hand or shriveling is associated with the soft end
  • Aggregating more than 5 sq. in. (32 sq. cm) of medium brown discoloration on a 25-lb (11.3 kg) watermelon
  • Side bruises over 3 in. (76.2 mm) in diameter and sunken
  • End bruises over 2 in. (50.8 mm) in diameter and sunken

Created by C. Gunter and E. Maynard, Purdue University 2006. Based on US Standards for Grades of Watermelon, 01-15-1978 as reprinted 01-1997. Last revised 08-02-06.

This project made possible by financial assistance from Indiana's Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture, Value-Added Research Grant Program.

 

 

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