Mustard [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 Senf, Speisesenf
English Mustard
French Moutarde
Spanish Mostaza
Scientific Sinapis alba (white mustard), Brassica nigra (black mustard)
CN/HS number * 2103 30 90

(* EU Combined Nomenclature/Harmonized System)

Product description

Mustard, a seasoning of pasty consistency and a more or less pungent flavor, arrived in Europe in the 8th century. It is produced from mustard flour, which is made from partially or non-deoiled mustard seeds, using vinegar, salt, sugar, spices and water.

The various types of mustard differ in strength, which is attributable to the proportion of black or brown (strong) and yellow (mild) mustard seeds. Mustard is yellowish brown in color.

In particular, the following types of mustard are commercially available:

„strong mustard“, which often tends towards „extra strong“ in flavor and is made from brown mustard seeds.
„medium strength mustard“, which is made from a majority of yellow mustard seeds and a smaller proportion of brown mustard seeds.
„table mustard“, which is made from yellow seeds and is not therefore very strong.
„sweet mustard“, which contains added sugar.

Oil content: at least 1.5% (allyl mustard oil)

Quality / Duration of storage

If the mustard is cracked or the surface exudes water or is gray colored, its quality may be assumed to have been degraded by storage for an excessive period or under poor conditions. The action of light, oxygen and heat is to reduce the pungency or strength of mustard.

The maximum duration of storage is primarily dependent upon temperature. Mustard which is stored at approx. 20°C loses so much quality (especially pungency) in just 3 months that it is no longer fit for sale. If stored under chilled conditions, on the other hand, mustard has a storage life of 6 – 9 months or sometimes even longer.

Intended use

Mustard is primarily used as a seasoning for food (e.g. for sauces, salads, meat dishes etc.).

Countries of origin

Mustard is produced on all continents.

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Mustard is primarily packaged in glass jars, tubes and plastic bottles. The tubes and plastic bottles have the advantage that they are not breakable and exposure to light and oxygen is minimal.

These small packages are then usually consolidated in boxes, cartons etc.. Packaging sizes are so selected that the dimensions of the individual area modules or area module multiples are conformed to the conventional pallet sizes (800×1200 mm and 1000×1200 mm) and cargo units may thus be produced.

Marking of packages

Fragile, Handle with care
Mark03.gif (1911 bytes)

Mark07.gif (2224 bytes)

Keep dry

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Symbol, general cargo

General cargo

Means of transport

Ship, truck, railroad

Container transport

Standard containers or refrigerated containers may be used, subject to compliance with lower limits for water content of goods, packaging and container flooring.

Cargo handling

Because of their impact-sensitivity, the packages have to be handled with appropriate care. The risk of breakage is very high, especially for glass jars.

In damp weather (rain, snow), the cargo must be protected from moisture, since moisture on the metal parts of the packaging (e.g. lid etc.) may result in corrosion.

Stowage factor

2.37 m3/t (wooden boxes containing mustard in glass jars) [1]

Stowage space requirements



Marker pen, oil crayon

Cargo securing

Because of their impact-sensitivity, the packaging must be secured in such a way that damage is prevented. Glass jars, in particular, must be adequately secured in the wooden boxes. Spaces between packages or pallets must be filled, to prevent slippage or tipping. Pallets must be loaded flush with their edges as protruding packages may readily result in damage.

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Risk factors and loss prevention

RF Temperature

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

The favorable travel temperature range is 5 – 25°C [1].

Mustard is best transported as a refrigerated cargo (temperatures above freezing) as this extends its storage life.

Storage at excessively high temperatures results in severe evaporation and chemical changes which reduce the pungency of the mustard.

Due to mustard’s relatively high water content, excessively low temperatures may result in bursting due to freezing.

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RF Humidity/Moisture

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

Designation Humidity/water content Source
Relative humidity 75% [1]
Water content 17% [1]
Maximum equilibrium moisture content 70% [1]

The specification of particular humidity conditions relates to the packaging (boxes, cartons). The packaging is part of the product and defective (wet, moist) packaging may also result in damage, such as detachment of labels etc..

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RF Ventilation

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

Normally, the cargo does not need to be ventilated. However, if there is a risk of condensation, which may result, for example, in detachment of labels etc., ventilation should proceed as follows:

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

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RF Biotic activity

Mustard displays 4th order biotic activity.

Mustard is a product in which biochemical and microbial processes have stopped and is isolated from the external environment by hermetically sealed packaging.

Either chemical preservatives are added to the mustard or its own enzymes have an action which is fungicidal (inhibiting mold growth) and bactericidal (inhibiting bacteria).

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RF Gases

Mustard does not evolve any gases.

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RF Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion

No risk.

Oil content: at least 1.5% (allyl mustard oil)

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RF Odor

Active behavior Mustard has a slight, unpleasant odor.
Passive behavior Mustard is sensitive to unpleasant or pungent odors.

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RF Contamination

Active behavior Mustard causes contamination only in the event of damage to packages (leakage).
Passive behavior Mustard is sensitive to 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

Because of the impact-sensitivity of the packages (especially with glass jars), they must be handled with appropriate care during cargo handling, transport and storage.

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RF Toxicity / Hazards to health

No risk.

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RF Shrinkage/Shortage

Weight losses do not occur, but losses of volume may occur due to breakage etc..

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RF Insect infestation / Diseases

Mustard may be attacked by mold and flies, in which case quality degradation is complete.

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