The EU Commission is expected to scrap rules that prevent the sale of misshapen fruit and vegetables in a drive to cut red tape.

The rules were introduced to ensure common EU standards but have led to as much as 20% of fruit and vegetables being thrown away even though it is perfectly wholesome and safe to eat.

There are currently 36 marketing regulations covering an array of products, and the EU Commission wants to cut this down to just 10.

Among those to go would be the infamous cucumber quality standard, which ensures that cucumbers cannot bend more than 10mm for every 10cm of length.

Another rule to go is the one that says that “the white part of a leek must represent at least one third of the total length, or half the sheaved part”.

But the commission is planning to retain minimum standards for fruits such as apples, pears and kiwis, and vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuces and peppers.

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