Aniseed [German version]

Table of contents

Product information
  Container transport
  Cargo securing

Risk factors and loss prevention:
Temperature Odor
Humidity/Moisture Contamination
Ventilation Mechanical influences
Biotic activity Toxicity / Hazards to health
Gases Shrinkage/Shortage
Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion Insect infestation / Diseases

Product information

Product name

German Anis, Brotsamen
English Aniseed
French Aniseed
Spanish Anís
Scientific Pimpinella anisum
CN/HS number * 0909 10 ff.

(* EU Combined Nomenclature/Harmonized System)

Product description

Aniseed or pimpinella comes from the Middle East and has become native to the countries of the Mediterranean.

Aniseed is the schizocarpic fruit of the annual anise plant of the parsley family (Umbelliferae) and consists of two half-fruits (3 – 6 mm long, 2 – 2.5 mm wide and 2 – 12 mm long pedicel) which are separable only with difficulty.

Aniseed is one of the oldest spices and is also used medicinally. The spice contains essential oils and other ingredients which have a strong seasoning action.

Spices are processed, cleaned, graded and carefully packaged for overseas dispatch in the countries where they are cultivated. They are dried to preserve them for transport and storage. In consumer countries, they are delivered to spice mills, where they are cleaned and graded again, ready for sale in unground or ground form.

Spices are classified by the plant parts used:

Fruit and seed spices (e.g. pepper, cardamom, aniseed)
Bud and flower spices (e.g. cloves)
Bark spices (e.g. cinnamon)
Root spices (ginger, turmeric)
Leaf spices (bay leaf)

Oil content: 2.0 – 6.0% [1] essential oils, in particular aniseed oil.

Quality / Duration of storage

Good quality aniseed has full, heavy fruits with a high essential oil content and may be kept for approx. 12 months if the recommended storage conditions are complied with.

Aniseed is harvested from July to January, but shipped all year round. Fresh aniseeds are gray-green in color. Aniseeds which have been stored for excessive periods turn brown and lose their seasoning action.

Intended use

Aniseed is used in the confectionery and bakery industries (aniseed cookies, aniseed candies) and as an ingredient of mixed spices. Aniseed is additionally used in the production of aniseed tea and to flavor various liqueurs, such as anisette.


(Click on the individual Figures to enlarge them.)

Photo, aniseed

Figure 1

Countries of origin

This Table shows only a selection of the most important countries of origin and should not be thought of as exhaustive.

Europe Turkey, Spain, Greece and other Mediterranean countries
Africa Egypt
Asia Japan, India
America Mexico

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Aniseed is transported in jute fabric bags (30 kg) and boxes.

Marking of packages
Mark07.gif (2224 bytes)

Keep dry
Mark03.gif (1911 bytes)


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Symbol, general cargo

General cargo

Means of transport

Ship, truck, railroad

Container transport

Standard containers , subject to compliance with lower limits for water content of goods, packaging and container flooring.

Cargo handling

In damp weather (rain, snow), the cargo must be protected from moisture, since wetting may lead to mold, spoilage and self-heating.

Hooks must not be used in handling bagged goods as they subject the bags to point loads, so damaging them. Due to their shape, plate or bag hooks apply an area load and are thus more suitable for handling bags.

Stowage factor

3.40 – 3.68 m3/t (jute fabric bags, 30 kg) [1]
3.34 m3/t (bags) [11]
3.40 – 3.68 m3/t (bags) [14]
6.30 m3/t (boxes) [14]

Stowage space requirements

Cool, dry, good ventilation


Fiber rope, thin fiber nets

Cargo securing

In order to ensure safe transport, the packages must be stowed and secured in the means of transport in such a manner that they cannot slip, tip or shift during transport. If loss of volume and degradation of quality are to be avoided, the packages must not be damaged by other articles or items of cargo.

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Risk factors and loss prevention

RF Temperature

Aniseed requires particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC VI) (storage climate conditions).

Favorable travel temperature range: 5 – 25°C [1]

Aniseed should be transported in areas which exhibit the lowest temperatures during the voyage and are dry. In any event, storage beneath the weather deck or, in the case of shipping in containers, in the uppermost layer on deck, must be avoided as the deck or container is strongly heated by the intense tropical sun and, at temperatures of > 25°C, essential oils may be lost and there is a risk of self-heating.

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RF Humidity/Moisture

Aniseed requires particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC VI) (storage climate conditions).

Designation Humidity/water content Source
Relative humidity 70% [1]
Water content 10 – 12% [1]
Maximum equilibrium moisture content 65% [1]

Spices are hygroscopic goods (hygroscopicity), which interact with the moisture in the air. The risk of mold growth is naturally at its greatest in warm, damp air. The cargo may become musty, and the risk of self-heating increases with an elevated air moisture content. It must be protected from all forms of moisture (seawater, rain, condensation water).

In order to prevent condensation on the ship’s side or container walls from affecting the cargo, care should be taken to leave a clear gap between the cargo stack and the ship’s side or container wall.

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RF Ventilation

Aniseed requires particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC VI) (storage climate conditions).

If the product is at „shipping dryness“, it does not have to be ventilated during transport. However, if the water content does not meet these guidelines, the following ventilation measures should be implemented to eliminate the potential for dampness:

Recommended ventilation conditions: air exchange rate: 6 changes/hour (airing)

In order to avoid formation of mold, the stowage space should be cool, dry and, most particularly, easy to ventilate.

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RF Biotic activity

Aniseed displays 3rd order biotic activity.

Aniseed belongs to the class of products in which respiration processes are suspended, but in which biochemical, microbial and other decomposition processes still proceed.

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RF Gases

No risk.

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RF Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion

An elevated moisture content and excessively high temperatures create a risk of self-heating.

Oil content: 2.0 – 6.0% [1] essential oils, in particular aniseed oil.

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RF Odor

Active behavior Aniseed has a strong, pleasant odor and a mild licorice-like flavor.

When transporting spices, it is important to retain the content of essential oils to the greatest possible extent, since these substances, together with other constituents, such as fatty oils, tannins and bitter principles, determine the odor and flavor and thus quality of the spices.

The essential oils are readily volatilized and the seasoning action of the spices is consequently reduced. Volatilization of the essential oils is primarily determined by temperature. The higher is the ambient temperature, the more the essential oils are volatilized, as may be recognized by the intense, pungent odor in the hold.

Due to the readily volatilized essential oils, spices should be stowed separately from each other and away from foodstuffs which readily absorb foreign odors (e.g. coffee, tea or copra).
Passive behavior Aniseed is sensitive to goods with an unpleasant and/or pungent odor and should therefore not be stowed together with odor-emitting products (e.g. chemicals or cheese).

The risk of odor absorption or transfer increases drastically if the relevant spices have already been ground prior to maritime transport, as the enlargement of surface area associated with the grinding process gives the essential oils a greater chance of volatilizing.

Containers require special cleaning or deodorization after being used to transport aniseed.

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RF Contamination

Active behavior Aniseed does not cause contamination.
Passive behavior Aniseed is sensitive to dust, dirt, fats and oils. Good quality aniseed is devoid of foreign matter, in particular hemlock fruits.

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RF Mechanical influences

Point loads applied for example by hooks should be avoided with bagged cargo, as they may result in damage (tears) to the bags and thus in loss of volume. Plate or bag hooks, which, due to their shape, distribute the load and reduce the risk of damage, should thus be used. Exposure to moisture in particular increases the susceptibility of jute bags to rotting, which reduces their mechanical strength.

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RF Toxicity / Hazards to health

Beware of foreign matter in the form of hemlock fruits, which contain the toxic alkaloid coniine. They resemble aniseed very closely. Random inspections should be carried out with a magnifying glass.

Drawing, hemlock fruit

Figure 2

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RF Shrinkage/Shortage

Weight loss is usually between 3 and 8%, as a result of further drying-out of the product. Loss of volume may be caused by damaged packages.

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RF Insect infestation / Diseases

Aniseed is particularly susceptible to infestation by tobacco beetles, but may also fall victim to the drugstore beetle, the golden spider beetle or the shiny spider beetle.

A complaint must be lodged if any infested goods are found. Particular care must be taken to ensure that holds/containers are free of pests.

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