Salbeiblätter [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 Salbeiblätter
English Sage leaves
French Feuilles de sauge
Spanish Hojas de salvia
Scientific Folia Salviae
CN/HS number * 1211 90 75

(* EU Combined Nomenclature/Harmonized System)

Product description

Sage (Salvia officinalis) is native to the Mediterranean region and belongs to the family Lamiaceae (Labiatae).

Sage leaves are the dried green, downy, oval leaves of common sage or garden sage. The flavor of the leaves is spicy/bitter, and their sage oil content gives them an aromatic odor.

Oil content: sage leaves have an oil content of 1 – 1.5% (essential oils).

Quality / Duration of storage

The water content of the leaves has to be kept to precise levels, as both upward and downward deviations result in quality degradation.

Changes in color indicate a change in the nature of the leaves. The product may lose value or become unusable.

Provided that the optimum water content is maintained, the maximum duration of storage is irrelevant in assessing suitability for transport.

Intended use

Sage leaves are used for seasoning and medicinal purposes.

As a seasoning, they are used in fish, meat and cheese dishes, ragouts and sauces.

In medicine, they are used as a treatment for catarrh.


(Click on the Figure to enlarge it.)

Figure 1

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 For the most part, throughout Europe
America USA

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Sage leaves are transported in bales, which are wrapped in jute fabric. To provide the bales with greater stability, they are strapped with metal strapping.

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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 moisture would result in an increased water content, the consequence of which would be mold growth and mildew stains.

The goods must also be protected during cargo handling from excessively high temperatures caused by solar radiation etc., in order to prevent a reduction in water content and associated brittleness or the occurrence of fragmentation damage.

No hooks of any kind may be used, as they damage the leaves.

Stowage factor

6.23 m3/t (bales, wrapped in jute fabric) [1]

Stowage space requirements

Cool, dry and well ventilated


Fiber rope, thin fiber nets (preferred)

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.

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Risk factors and loss prevention

RF Temperature

Sage leaves require particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC VI) (storage climate conditions).

The favorable travel temperature range is 8 – 25°C [1].

Excessively high temperatures may lead to drying-out of the leaves, which results in brittleness or fragmentation damage.

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RF Humidity/Moisture

Sage leaves require particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC VI) (storage climate conditions).

Designation Humidity/water content Source
Relative humidity 70% [1]
Water content 9 – 10% [1]
Maximum equilibrium moisture content 65% [1]

At a water content < 9%, the sage leaves become brittle due to water vapor release, and fragmentation damage occurs.

At a water content > 10%, mold and mildew stains arise. Sage leaves must therefore be protected from moisture (seawater, rain and condensation water).

The bales must be protected from cargo sweat by appropriate dunnage.

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RF Ventilation

Sage leaves require particular temperature, humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC VI) (storage climate conditions).

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

To ensure adequate airing, the cargo must be stowed so as to leave trenches.

If sage leaves are transported as chilled goods, return air is adequate, as excessively vigorous ventilation may otherwise cause fragmentation damage.

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RF Biotic activity

Sage leaves display 3rd order biotic activity.

They belong to the class of goods 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

No risk.

Oil content: sage leaves have an oil content of 1 – 1.5% (essential oils).

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RF Odor

Active behavior Sage leaves have a strong, pleasant odor.
Passive behavior Sage leaves are highly odor-sensitive.

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RF Contamination

Active behavior Sage leaves cause contamination by forming dust.
Passive behavior The cargo is sensitive to dust, dirt, fats and oils. The holds or containers must accordingly be clean and in a thoroughly hygienic condition before loading.

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RF Mechanical influences

Even slight mechanical stress may cause the leaves to crumble (fragmentation); therefore they must be handled with appropriate care during cargo handling, transport and storage. No hooks of any kind may be used. Sage leaves must not be overstowed with other goods, as damage may occur.

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RF Toxicity / Hazards to health

No risk.

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RF Shrinkage/Shortage

Where weight loss occurs with sage leaves, this is in particular as a result of the release of water vapor. Dried-out leaves become brittle and crumble. This leads to further losses.

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RF Insect infestation / Diseases

Most damage to sage leaves occurs as the result of an excessively low or high water content:

excessively low water content:

brittleness: as water is released, the leaves dry out and become brittle.
fragmentation damage: severe drying-out and the associated changes to the elasticity of the sage leaves result in disintegration into small fragments.

excessively high water content:

mold growth
mildew staining

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