Coriander [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 Koriander
English Coriander
French Coriandre
Spanish Cilantro
Scientific Coriandrum sativum var. vulgare and C. sativum var. microcarpum
CN/HS number * 0909 20 00

(* EU Combined Nomenclature/Harmonized System)

Product description

Coriander seeds are the ripe, 3 – 5 mm (C. sativum vulgare), dried schizocarpic fruits of the annual coriander herb (parsley family, Umbelliferae). The fruits of Coriandrum sativum microcarpum have a diameter of only 1.5 – 3 mm. The two varieties differ in their essential oil content, the smaller having the higher content. The fruits are spherical and yellowish-brownish in color. Finger pressure is enough to divide them into two half-fruits. Coriander comes originally from Asia Minor and the southern Mediterranean.

The pleasant, strong, peculiarly aromatic odor and sweetish, slightly bitter flavor of the fruits forms only after a certain period of storage and is caused by the essential coriander oil contained in the fruits.

The term spice is used to refer to plant parts which serve to improve the odor and flavor of foods. They contain 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, coriander)
Bud and flower spices (e.g. cloves)
Bark spices (e.g. cinnamon)
Root spices (ginger, turmeric)
Leaf spices (bay leaf)

Oil content:

Coriandrum sativum var. vulgare contains 0.1 – 0.5% essential oils (Morocco, India), while Coriandrum sativum var. microcarpum contains > 0.4 – 1.8% (southern Europe). The principal component of the essential oil is coriandrol.

Quality / Duration of storage

Time of harvest is of great significance to the quality of coriander: their essential oil content is highest if harvested when unripe; however, they then exude an unpleasant, sweet odor reminiscent of bedbugs.

Provided that the recommended storage conditions are complied with, coriander may be kept for up to 12 months.

Intended use

Together with other spices, coriander is used to improve the flavor of many dishes and in the food industry, e.g. meat, marinades and Christmas bakery products.

Like aniseed, fennel and caraway, coriander may be used in bread making; in addition, coriander is the main ingredient in curry paste.

In the drinks industry, coriander is used to flavor gin and non-alcoholic beverages.


(Click on the Figure to enlarge it.)

Photo, coriander

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 Greece, Netherlands, Italy, France, Bulgaria, CIS, countries of the eastern Mediterranean
Africa Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia
Asia East Asia, India
America Argentina, USA

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Coriander is packaged in jute fabric bags (30 kg), among other things.

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Symbol, general cargo

General cargo

Means of transport

Ship, truck, railroad

Container transport

Standard containers may be used, 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 this 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

3.54 – 3.68 m3/t (jute bags, 30 kg) [1]
3.43 – 3.62 m3/t (bags) [11]
3.54 – 3.68 m3/t (jute bags, 30 kg) [14]

Stowage space requirements

Cool, dry, good ventilation


Fiber rope, thin fiber nets, wooden dunnage

Cargo securing

In order to ensure safe transport, the cargo must be stowed and secured in the means of transport in such a manner that it cannot slip 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.

Attention must also be paid to stowage patterns which may be required as a result of special considerations, such as ventilation measures.

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Risk factors and loss prevention

RF Temperature

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

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

Coriander 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.

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RF Humidity/Moisture

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

Designation Humidity/water content Source
Relative humidity 60 – 70% [1]
Water content maximum 15% [1], [15]
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.

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

Coriander 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

Coriander displays 3rd order biotic activity.

It is among those products in which respiration processes are suspended. Nevertheless, biochemical, microbial and other decomposition processes still proceed in such products and must be taken into consideration.

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RF Gases

No risk.

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RF Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion

Oil content:

Coriandrum sativum var. vulgare contains 0.1 – 0.5% essential oils (Morocco, India), while Coriandrum sativum var. microcarpum contains > 0.4 – 1.8% (southern Europe). The principal component of the essential oil is coriandrol.

Coriander has a tendency to self-heating. An elevated moisture content and excessively high temperatures increase the risk of self-heating still further.

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RF Odor

Active behavior Young coriander fruits have a slightly unpleasant odor reminiscent of bedbugs. They develop their typical strong, pleasant, peculiarly aromatic odor of oranges only after a certain period of storage.

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 odor in the hold.

Due to the readily volatilized essential oils, spices should always be stowed separately from each other and away from foodstuffs which readily absorb foreign odors (e.g. coffee or tea). This is particularly the case with coriander as it has an unpleasantly strong odor when fresh.
Passive behavior Coriander 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).

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RF Contamination

Active behavior Coriander does not cause contamination.
Passive behavior Coriander is sensitive to dust, dirt, fats and oils. A foreign matter content of up to a maximum of 1% is permissible [15]

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RF Mechanical influences

With bagged cargo, point loads applied for example by hooks 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.

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RF Toxicity / Hazards to health

No risk.

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RF Shrinkage/Shortage

The natural drying process of the product may cause slight loss of weight.

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RF Insect infestation / Diseases

Coriander may be infested by rats, mice and beetles (in particular drugstore beetles, hump spider beetles, Australian spider beetles and golden spider beetles) and moths (dried fruit and cacao moths) and mites.

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