To further understand the terms G/L, FAQ in relation to black pepper

Black pepper: Whole peppercorns including the pericarp and seeds dried to a moisture content of 13%.

Finished black pepper has a black color with a wrinkled outer seed coat. Harvested when fully ripe with firm seeds, on the cluster of fruits, 1-2 fruits begin to turn yellow.

In order to choose suitable pepper according to business criteria, there are certain parameters used to evaluate the quality of black pepper. Here, SOH will simplify some basic concepts commonly used for black pepper quality testing. 

First, we are interested in two terms commonly used for black pepper: FAQ and G/L.

G/L stands for grams per liter, meaning the total weight of pepper per liter.

FAQ is an abbreviation for Fair Acceptable Quality, alongside FAQ, we have ASTA which stands for American Standards Trade Association. To understand more, let's look at the following information:

FAQ Standard (Fair Acceptable Quality):

Commonly exported grades include:

+ FAQ 550g/l: Bulk density: 550g/l; Moisture content: 12.5%; Foreign matter: 0.5%; No insect damage, mold.

+ FAQ 500g/l: Bulk density: 500g/l; Moisture content: 13%; Foreign matter: 1%; No insect damage, mold.

ASTA Standard (American Standards Trade Association):

+ Bulk density: 570g/l for black pepper and 630g/l for white pepper

+ Moisture content: ≤ 12.5%

+ Animal excreta: ≤ 1mg/lb (454g)

+ Foreign matter: ≤ 1%

+ Other waste: ≤ 5mg/lb

+ Light berries: ≤ 2%

+ Insect damage: ≤ 2 per lb

+ Moldy berries: ≤ 1%

+ Salmonella: None

+ Sieve size above ф 5mm: 100%

+ Pepper is steam cleaned

In addition, some European and Middle Eastern markets also require very high food safety standards, requiring no heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, no E. coli bacteria, radioactive substances, etc.

Over 95% of Vietnam's pepper production is currently exported according to FAQ standards, with bulk density ranging from 500-550g/l, moisture content from 13 -13.5%, and foreign matter from 0.5 -1%. The amount exported according to ASTA standards accounts for a negligible proportion.

SOH hope that you have a better understanding of the quality standards for black pepper. If you have any further questions or need additional information, feel free to ask!

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