Under a new U.S. Department of Agriculture rule, more misshapen kiwifruit may be shipped with normally shaped fruit.

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service OK’d an interim rule, published in July, that relaxes the minimum grade requirement for California kiwifruit.

The new rule, which was adopted unchanged from the interim rule (http://tinyurl.com/lkscu3a), also applies to imported kiwifruit.

Under the rule, the tolerance of kiwifruit which is “badly misshapen” has been increased from 7% to 16%. Accepting more misshapen fruit is expected to reduce costs associated with resorting and repacking, according to AMS.

Under the new rule, fewer kiwifruit containers are expected to fail to meet grade requirements.

According to AMS, the new rule also is expected to reduce costs to handlers and growers of kiwifruit.