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Back by Popular Demand: This Valentine's Day, Standards (and Love) Are in the Air

This Valentine's Day, love is in the air. Whether you seek to kindle the admiration of a new love interest or a faithful old flame, standards are in place to get you there.

Nothing says romance like roses. While red roses are the Valentine favorite, this perennial token of love comes in many forms, from long-stemmed hybrid teas to miniature potted plants. An American National Standard (ANS) from American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and accredited standards developer the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) helps to determine if a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

ANSI Z60.1-2004, Nursery Stock, establishes common techniques for measuring, sizing, and describing roses and other plants. The standard includes requirements for field-grown garden roses when sold bare root, individually wrapped and packaged, or in cartons. The standard also establishes grades for various rose varieties according to characteristics such as height and number of canes (stems).

Of course, every rose has its thorn. ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator, has developed a standard that could come in quite handy for rose pickers and others handling thorny roses. ASTM F2010/F2010M-10, Standard Test Method for Evaluation of Glove Effects on Wearer Hand Dexterity Using a Modified Pegboard Test, establishes a method for evaluating hand dexterity while wearing gloves.

White, dark, heart-shaped, or truffle, chocolate is considered by many as the ultimate aphrodisiac. Several standards from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) help to determine the compositional make-up of this purported love drug.

ISO 11053:2009, Vegetable fats and oils - Determination of cocoa butter equivalents in milk chocolate, specifies a procedure for measuring cocoa butter equivalents and milk fat specifically in milk chocolate. ISO 23275, Animal and vegetable fats and oils - Cocoa butter equivalents in cocoa butter and plain chocolate, is a two-part standard that covers the detection (Part 1) and quantification (Part 2) of cocoa butter equivalents respectively. These standards were developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 34, Food products, Subcommittee (SC) 11, Animal and vegetable fats and oils. The American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) serves as the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to both committees.

Not only has it been proven to be good for the heart, wine is also heralded for its romance-inducing qualities. Several ISO standards address test methods for the equipment used in wine making, including:

  • ISO 5703:1979, Equipment for vine cultivation and wine making -- Grape presses -- Methods of test;
  • ISO 5704:1980, Equipment for vine cultivation and wine making -- Grape-harvesting machinery -- Test methods; and
  • ISO 7224:1983, Equipment for vine cultivation and wine making -- Mash pumps -- Methods of test.

These standards were developed by ISO TC 23, Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry. ANSI member and accredited standards developer the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), serves as the U.S. TAG Administrator to TC 23.

If you play your cards right, you'll know by that tell-tale sign of love: the pitter-patter of an elevated heart rate. A standard from ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) helps to measure heart rate. ANSI/AAMI/ISO EC13:2002 (R)2007, Cardiac Monitors, Heart Rate Meters, and Alarms, establishes performance requirements for cardiac monitors, heart rate meters, and other devices used to measure cardiac rhythm.

Whether you choose to express yourself with sweet treats or a simple handwritten valentine, let standards help you play Cupid this February 14.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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