European buyers are especially strict with regard to pesticide residues and other contamination. Post-harvest processes, cooling and storage temperatures are also very important. For example, chilling injuries may occur, and misting or exposure to water or ice can also leave brown spots.
Internationally agreed requirements regarding the quality and packaging of peas has been established in the UNECE Standard for peas (including mange-touts and sugar snap peas).
The UNECE standard for peas can be taken as a guideline for minimum quality. This standard applies to shelling peas (round peas, wrinkled peas) intended for consumption without the pod, as well as to mangetout or snow peas and sugar snap peas intended for consumption with the pod.
The pods or seeds must be:
- intact; however mange-tout peas and sugar snap peas may have their ends removed;
- sound; produce affected by rotting or deterioration are deemed unfit for consumption and is excluded;
- clean, practically free of any visible foreign matter (including parts of the flowers);
- free of hard filaments or films;
- practically free of pests;
- practically free of damage caused by pests;
- free of abnormal external moisture;
- free of any foreign smell and/or taste;
- seeds must be normally developed in shelling peas