Sultanas [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 Sultaninen
English Sultanas
French Raisins de Smyrne
Spanish Pasas gorronas
Scientific Vitis vinifera
CN/HS number * 0806 20 12

(* EU Combined Nomenclature/Harmonized System)

Product description

Sultanas belong to the grapevine family (Vitaceae) and are native to the Caspian Sea. Currants, sultanas and raisins, including those still on the bunch, are known collectively as „raisins. The difference between these three dried fruits is explained below:

Sultanas: seedless, large-berried and light yellow. Larger than currants and smaller than raisins.
Currants: seedless, small-berried, purple/black color. Their name derives from the Greek city of Corinth.
Raisins on the bunch: seeded, large-berried, generally with stalk.

To produce: the grapes are grown on the sultana grapevine. The grapes are harvested when overripe. They are then either air-dried or increasingly dried in special drying plants. Most sultanas are bleached, sulfured after drying and mechanically destalked in order to extend their storage life and prevent subsequent discoloration. Such treatment must be indicated appropriately on the packaging. Treatment with vegetable oils is intended to prevent the sultanas from sticking together.

Due to their very high sugar content, sultanas are very sweet and similar in flavor to honey.

Quality / Duration of storage

Sultanas should not exhibit any signs of reduced quality, such as mold, rot, discoloration, maggot or mite infestation, clumps of fruit. Contamination by dirt etc. must also remain within reasonable limits.

Various sources state maximum duration of storage as follows:

Temperature Rel. humidity Max. duration of storage Source
4 – 20°C 60 – 70% 12 months [1]
7°C 50 – 60% 12 months [5]

Intended use

Sultanas are intended to be eaten raw and are used as an ingredient in nut mixes, bakery products, muesli and desserts.


(Click on the individual Figures to enlarge them.)

Photo, sultanas

Figure 1
Photo, sultanas

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 Turkey, Greece, Spain, Cyprus
Africa South Africa
Asia Iran, Afghanistan
America USA, Mexico
Australia Australia

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Raisins are packaged in paperboard cartons or wooden boxes.

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.

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Symbol, general cargo

General cargo


Means of transport

Ship, truck, railroad

Container transport

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

Cargo handling

Since the packages are sensitive to impact, appropriate care must be taken during cargo handling.

In damp weather (rain, snow), the cargo must be protected from moisture, since this may lead to mold, rot, fermentation and tackiness.

Stowage factor

1.35 – 1.56 m³/t (cartons) [1]
1.28 – 1.39 m3/t (boxes) [11]

Stowage space requirements

Cool, dry, good ventilation


Marker pen, oil crayon, oiled paper, packing paper

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

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

The favorable travel temperature range is 4 – 20°C [1].

Chemical reactions proceed very rapidly at temperatures > 25°C. Heat and pressure cause candying and agglomeration, syrup formation and fermentation in sultanas.

Heat generally causes the risk of discoloration and hardening and the product should thus be stowed away from heat sources.

At temperatures < 10°C, mite growth is inhibited.

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RF Humidity/Moisture

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

Designation Humidity/water content Source
Relative humidity 60 – 70% [1]
50 – 60% [5]
Water content 17 – 20% [1]
14 – 18% [5]
Maximum equilibrium moisture content 65% [1]

Sultanas are strongly hygroscopic (hygroscopicity).

Drawing, sultanas

Figure 3

Poor drying (water content > 20%) results in mold and the sultanas become inedible.

At relative humidities > 70%, sultanas become tacky, grow mold and may support yeast growth. Fermentation may also occur.

At relative humidities < 60%, sultanas become tough and hard.

The product must be protected from all forms of moisture (seawater, rain and condensation water) to prevent mold growth, rotting, fermentation and tackiness.

In order to prevent wetting of the product by sweat from hold or container surfaces, it should be protected with dunnage . If a fermentation process is initiated, it may eventually affect the entire cargo.

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RF Ventilation

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

If the product is at „shipping dryness“, i.e. if there is no risk of degradation by mold etc. due to water content, ventilation is not required. If this is not the case, the following ventilation measures should be implemented:

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

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RF Biotic activity

Sultanas 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.

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RF Odor

Active behavior Sultanas have a slight, pleasant odor.
Passive behavior Sultanas are highly odor-sensitive.

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RF Contamination

Active behavior Excessive temperatures may result in the formation of syrup, which may contaminate other goods.
Passive behavior Sultanas are extremely sensitive to contamination.

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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.

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RF Toxicity / Hazards to health

Mite infestation may cause gastrointestinal conditions if the product is eaten. Inhalation of mite dust may cause asthma attacks and frequent contact with mites may result in skin conditions.

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RF Shrinkage/Shortage

The normal weight loss due to a reduction in the moisture content of the product is approx. 1%.

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RF Insect infestation / Diseases

Sultanas are very frequently infested by pests.

Under appropriate temperature and humidity conditions, there is a risk of infestation by maggots, mites, moths (dried fruit moth, meal moth, tobacco moth) and beetles (sap beetles, sawtoothed grain beetles and flour beetles). Mite infestation may be determined by examination with a magnifying glass: mites may be distinguished from crystallized glucose because they are whitish, slow moving dots. Development from the egg to imago (fully formed insect) takes approx. 10 days.

A fumigation certificate must be provided.

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