Peas, dried [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 Erbsen, getrocknet
English Peas, dried
French Pois séchés
Spanish Guisantes
Scientific Pisum sativum
CN/HS number * 0713 10 ff.

(* EU Combined Nomenclature/Harmonized System)

Product description

Peas are the seeds of the annual pea plant belonging to the legume family (Leguminosae) and are transported in dry form, i.e. dried peas are peas which have fully ripened in the pod on the plant. They are mainly garden peas of a yellow or green color. Marrowfat peas are not suitable as dried peas because they do not become soft.

Pea plants are among the oldest cultivated plants. Peas are 4.0 – 7.5 mm in diameter.

Quality / Duration of storage

A certificate of origin and health should be demanded in order to establish the quality of the peas.

Exposure to sunlight may change the normally yellow-green color of dried peas to pale gray.

Grain admixtures are admissible up to an amount of 5%.

It is very important for the surveyor to ascertain the year of harvest: it must be taken into consideration that the peas may be mixed with peas from the previous year’s harvest. 

The maximum admissible admixture content is 1%, of which at most 0.5% is harmful (i.e. contamination by soil, small stones, seeds from other crop plants and weeds, empty legume husks, grain admixtures, legumes chewed and punctured by pests and crushed legumes).

Dried peas have a storage life of approx. 1 year.

Intended use

Dried peas have a high content of starch (25 – 60%) and protein (22 – 35%) and are thus a valuable foodstuff.

Peas are primarily used as a staple in stews, soups, creamed peas, ground peas and pea rissoles.


(Click on the individual Figures to enlarge them.)

Photo, peas

Figure 1
Photo, peas

Figure 2

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 Czech Republic, France, Netherlands, Baltic states, Hungary, Belgium
Africa Morocco, East Africa
America Canada, Chile
Australia Australia

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Beans are packaged in, among other things, jute fabric bags (50 – 100 kg) and in cartons, in which case the beans are heat-sealed in film bags, but are also carried as bulk cargo.

When packaged in corrugated or millboard cartons, the product should be transported on pallets. The packaging size should be 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.

Photo, peas

Figure 3

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Symbol, general cargo

General cargo
Symbol, bulk cargo

Bulk cargo

Means of transport

Ship, truck, railroad

Container transport

Passively ventilated containers (coffee 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 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

1.22 m³/t (jute fabric bags, 50 kg) [1]
1.45 – 1.75 m³/t (bags) [11]
1.28 – 1.39 m³/t (bulk cargo) [11]
2.03 m³/t (cartons) [11]

Stowage space requirements

Cool, dry, good ventilation


Matting, jute coverings, 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 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

Peas require particular temperature, humidity/moisture and ventilation conditions (SC VII) (storage climate conditions).

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

Dried peas should not be stowed near heat sources (engine room bulkhead, heated tanks) in order to reduce the risk of self-heating.

Drying-out and heat harden the pea husks.

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RF Humidity/Moisture

Peas require particular temperature, humidity/moisture and ventilation conditions (SC VII) (storage climate conditions).

Designation Humidity/water content Source
Relative humidity 65% [1]
Water content 14 – 16% [1]
Maximum equilibrium moisture content 65% [1]

The goods are strongly hygroscopic. Dried peas must therefore be protected from exposure to any kind of moisture (seawater, rain, condensation water) as there is otherwise a risk of mold, fermentation, mustiness and self-heating.

The sorption isotherm shows that, at a water content of 15%, peas reach an equilibrium moisture content of 70%. The mold growth threshold (equilibrium moisture content 75%) is reached at a water content of 17%.

Sorption isotherm, peas

Figure 4

Sodden packages must be rejected.

Where ventilation is inadequate, especially at water contents > 16%, heat and moisture result in a tendency towards self-heating and rapid germination during extended voyages.

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RF Ventilation

Peas require particular temperature, humidity/moisture and ventilation conditions (SC VII) (storage climate conditions).

Recommended ventilation conditions: air exchange rate: at least 10 changes/hour (airing)

Where ventilation is inadequate, especially at water contents > 16%, heat and moisture result in a tendency towards self-heating and rapid germination during extended voyages.

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RF Biotic activity

Peas display 2nd order biotic activity.

They are living organs in which respiration processes predominate, because their supply of new nutrients has been cut off by separation from the parent plant.

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RF Gases

As a consequence of the respiration processes which continue after harvest, dried peas produce ripening gases (particularly CO2), which may lead to the build-up of life-threatening CO2 concentrations in the hold.

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RF Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion

Oil content: 1 – 3% [1]

Where ventilation is inadequate, especially at water contents > 16%, heat and moisture result in a tendency towards self-heating. For this reason, the cargo should not be stowed near heat sources.

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RF Odor

Active behavior Peas have a slight, unpleasant odor, which is typical of legumes. They must not smell musty.
Passive behavior Any foreign odors are very readily absorbed by peas and are difficult to remove.

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RF Contamination

Active behavior Peas do not cause contamination.
Passive behavior Dried peas are sensitive to dust, dirt, fats and oils.

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RF Mechanical influences

The packages must be secured appropriately in the hold or container so that they cannot move during transport. In the case of container transport, it is also important for the goods to be secured in the door area so that they cannot fall out of the container when the doors are opened.

Point loads applied for example by hooks may result in damage (tears) to the bags and thus to losses 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

Respiration, especially of moistened peas, may cause life-threatening CO2 concentrations (TLV: 0.49 vol.%) or O2 shortages in the hold/container. Therefore, before anybody enters the hold, it must be ventilated and a gas measurement carried out.

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RF Shrinkage/Shortage

Weight loss may amount to 2% due to drying-out and insect infestation. Losses of volume frequently occur due to the use of excessively weak bag material.

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RF Insect infestation / Diseases

Legumes are at particular risk from various species of beetles (pea beetle and lentil bruchid).

Pea beetles and lentil bruchids are field pests, i.e. they infest the good before loading and require no fumigation because they do not reproduce in the peas; they do, however, cause depreciation by contamination.

Photo, peas

Figure 5

Moth infestation, on the other hand, does require fumigation. The timing of infestation may be determined from the size of the imagos and stage of development. A fumigation certificate is necessary.

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