Technically a flower that hasn’t yet bloomed, the humble artichoke has had a somewhat tumultuous history. Having been around since the Roman times, it was, for many centuries, banned from female consumption because of its so-called aphrodisiac properties. These days, however, it takes a prime place on many family tables and is also at the heart of a multi-billion-dollar industry, with some 1.7 million tonnes consumed each year. To help support the sector, the first International Standard for artichokes has just been published.
ISO 20980, Artichokes – Specification and test methods, specifies requirements and test methods for fresh artichokes, including their hearts and bottoms. The standard outlines the different types and classes of artichoke, with requirements and recommendations related to their appearance and quality, both of which are important for trade and safe, enjoyable consumption. It also features guidance on transport and storage, packaging, marking, hygiene, pesticide residues and more.
ISO 20980 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, a subcommittee of technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products. Its secretariat is held by TSE, ISO’s member for Turkey.