Cleanliness Specifications

ASTA’s Cleanliness specifications For Spices, Seeds and Herbs For...

Cleanliness Specifications

ASTA’s
Cleanliness specifications
For Spices, Seeds and Herbs

For purpose of these
Specifications, extraneous matter is defined as everything foreign to
the product itself and included, but is not restricted to: stones, dirt,
wire, string, stems, sticks, nontoxic foreign seeds, excreta, manure and
animal contamination.

The level of
contaminants permitted under these Specifications must fall below those
shown on the following table, except for the column "Whole Insects,
Dead" which cannot exceed the limits shown.

 

 Whole insects dead

Excreta
Mammalian

Excreta
other

Mold

Insect
defiled/ infested

Extraneous
foreign matter

Name
of spice, seed or herb

By
count

By
mg./lb

By
mg./lb

%
by Wgt.

%
by wgt.

%
by wgt.

All spice

2

5

5.0

2.00

1.00

0.50

Anise

4

3

5.0

1.00

1.00

1.00

Sweet Basil

2

1

2.0

1.00

1.00

0.50n

Caraway

4

3

10.0

1.00

1.00

0.50

Cardamom

4

3

1.0

1.00

1.00

0.50

Cassia

2

1

1.0

5.00

2.50

0.50

Cinnamon

2

1

2.0

1.00

1.0

0.50

Celery Seed

4

3

3.0

1.00

1.0

0.50

Chillies

4

1

8.0

3.00

2.50

0.50

Cloves

4

5

8.0

1.00

1.00

1.00 *

Coriander

4

3

10.0

1.00

1.00

0.50

Cumin Seed

4

3

5.0

1.00

1.00

0.50

Dill Seed

4

3

2.0

1.00

1.00

0.50

Fennel Seed

SF(2)

SF(2)

SF(2)

1.00

1.00

0.50

Ginger

4

3

3.0

SF(3)

SF(3)

1.00

Laurel Leaves **

2

1

10.0

2.00

2.50

0.50

Mace

4

3

1.0

2.00

1.00

0.50

Marjoram

3

1

10.0

1.00

1.00

1.00n

Nutmeg (Broken)

4

5

1.0

SF(4)

SF(4)

0.50

Nutmeg (Whole)

4

0

0.0

SF(5)

SF(5)

0.00

Oregano ***

3

1

10.0

1.00

1.00

1.00n

Black Pepper

2

1

5.0

SF(6)

SF(6)

1.00

White Pepper
****

2

1

1.0

SF(7)

SF(7)

0.50

Poppy Seed

2

3

3.0

1.00

1.00

0.50

Rosemary Leaves

2

1

4.0

1.00

1.00

0.50n

Sage **

2

1

4.0

1.00

1.00

0.50

Savory

2

1

10.0

1.00

1.00

0.50n

Sesame Seed

4

5

10.0

1.00

1.00

0.50

Sesame Seed,
Hulled

4

5

1.0

1.00

1.00

0.50n

Tarragon

2

1

1.0

1.00

1.00

0.50n

Thyme

4

1

5.0

1.00

1.00

0.50n

Turmeric

3

5

5.0

3.00

2.50

0.50


Cleanliness Specifications Footnotes:

*

Clove
stems:

Less than
(<) 5% allowance by weight for unattached clove stems over
and above the tolerance for other Extraneous Matter is
permitted

**

Laurel
leaves: Sage:

"Stems"
will be reported separately for economic purposes and will not
represent a Pass/fail criteria

***

Oregano:

Analysis for
presence of Sumac shall not be mandatory, if samples are
marked "Product of Mexico"

****

White
pepper:

"Percent
Black Pepper" will be reported separately for economic
purposes and will not represent a pass/fail criteria

(2)

Fennel
Seed:

In the case
of fennel seed, if more than 20% of the sub samples contain
any rodent, other excreta or whole insects, or an average of 3
mg/lb. of mammalian excreta, the lot must be reconditioned

(3)

Ginger More
than 3% moldy pieces and/or insect infested pieces by weight

(4)

Broken
Nutmeg:
More
than 5% mold/insect defiled combined by weight

(5)

Whole
Nutmeg
More
than 10% insect infested and/or moldy pieces, with a maximum
of 5% insect defiled pieces by count

(6)

Black
Pepper
1%
moldy and/or infested pieces by weight

(7)

White
Pepper
1%
moldy and/or infested pieces by weight

u

Whole
Insects, Dead:
Cannot
exceed the limits shown

n

Extraneous
Matter
Include
other plant material, e.g. foreign leaves

 

Ground Processed
Spice *

(Cannot exceed limit shown)

 

Spices

Whole
Equivalent Insects

Insect
Fragments

 

Mites

Other Insects

Rats/Mouse
Hairs

 

Animal Hairs

Ground
Paprika
  Avg.
of more than 75 fragments/ 25g
    Avg.
of more than 75 fragments/ 25g
 

* Microanalytical
Methods for Paprika and Ground Capsicums can be found in the "Analytical
Procedures" section of the ASTA Cleanliness Specifications for
Spices, Seeds, and Herbs Manual (4/28/99)


IN ADDITION TO THE PRECEDING SPECIFICATIONS, A LOT MUST ALSO BE
RECONDITIONED:

  1. MAMALIAN EXCRETA

    If the average of the
    total number of sub-samples exceeds the listed milligram per pound
    Specifications.

    Exception: In the case of fennel seed, see footnote (2)

  2. OTHER EXCRETA

    If the average weight
    expressed as milligrams per pound for all subdivisions of the sample
    exceeds the specified values shown in the table.Exception: In
    the case of fennel seed, see footnote (2)

    NOTE:
    The Food and Drug Administration specifies only mammalia excreta, ASTA
    will count all types of non-mammalian excreta as Other Excreta. FDA
    retains the right to detain merchandise containing excessive amounts
    of excreta, which is of non-mammalian origin, on the basis that the
    merchandise was exposed to unsanitary conditions.

  3. INSECTS

    If the total
    number of whole dead insects found in the total number of the sub
    samples exceeds the specified value shown in the table
    If live insects are found in the original sample reconditioning is
    to include fumigating. If the number of live and dead insects
    exceeds the cleanliness specification for whole dead insects for
    that spice, then reconditioning must also include sifting and
    blowing. Thereafter, in accordance with Procedures A. Sampling, new
    samples shall be drawn, analyzed and a new Certificate of Analysis
    issued.

    Exception:

  1. In the case of fennel seed, if 20%
    or more of the sub samples contain any whole insects, the lot must
    be reconditioned. (For example, if two or more sub samples of a
    ten-unit sample each contain one whole insect, the lot must be
    reconditioned)

  2. If the number of live insects found
    in the total number of sub samples is less than the cleanliness
    specifications for whole insects for that spice; the lot must be
    fumigated and then re-sampled.

  3. If it appears to the unaided eye
    that 50 or more mites and psocids are present, the lot must be
    fumigated, sifted, and blown. Mites and/or psocids are not to be
    counted as insects.

 

  1. INSECTS

    If mould is present,
    as expressed by percent by weight of the total quantity of spice in
    all sub samples, in excess of the specified values shown in the table.
    A product is classified as moldy if it contains mold, visible to the
    naked eye, exceeding ¼ of its surface area and confirmed by the
    presence of mycelial filaments and spores when examined with the aid
    of a microscope (40 x magnification or less)

  2. INSECTS DEFILED/INFESTED

    If the total sample
    quantity exceeds the specified values shown in the table expressed as
    percent by weight of insect infested, bored, or otherwise defiled
    seeds, leaves or roots. Before reconditioning, a lot is considered
    defiled whenever a sample shows visible evidence of webbing or
    definite insect feeding.

  3. RECONDITIONING AND RECONDITIONED
    ITEMS

    Reconditioning may
    include, but shall not be limited to, techniques such as fumigating,
    washing, cutting, sifting, aspirating and blowing.
    Insect channels or insect-bored hotels in reconditioned spices will
    not be counted as insect defiled, as they would in the examination of
    non-reconditioned spices, provided there are no insects, webbing or
    excreta in those channels or holes.

  4. INSECTS

    If the light berries, though not
    considered extraneous matter, exceed 4% by weight.

 

 

 

 

 

EUROPEAN
SPICE ASSOCIATION SPECIFICATIONS OF

QUALITY MINIMA FOR HERBS AND SPICES
(Revised in May 2003 during ESA Meeting)

SUBJECT

Sampling (For
routine sampling) Square root of units/lots to a maximum of
10 samples.

(For arbitration purposes) Square root of all containers
e.g. 1 lot of pepper may = 400 bags, therefore square root =
20 samples.

CHEMICAL/PHYSICAL
ANALYSIS
Ash Refer
to ANNEX
Acid
Insoluble Ash
Refer
to ANNEX
Moisture Refer
to ANNEX
Volatile
Oil
Refer
to ANNEX
Water
Activity
To
be agreed between buyer and seller.
Bulk
Density
To
be agreed between buyer and seller.
Microbiology Salmonella
absent in (at least) 25g.
Yeast & Moulds 105/g target, 106/g absolute maximum

E Coli. 102/g target, 103/g absolute maximum
Other requirements to be agreed between buyer and seller.

CONTAMINANTS/RESIDUES
Pesticides Shall
be utilised in accordance with manufacturers’
recommendations and good agricultural practice and comply
with existing national and/or EU legislation.
Heavy
Metals
Shall
comply with national / EU legislation.
Mycotoxins Should
be grown, harvested, handled and stored in such a manner as
to prevent the occurrence of aflatoxins or minimise the risk
of occurrence. If found, levels should comply with existing
national and / or EU legislation. EU Regulation 472/2002
states maximum aflatoxin levels are: B1 5µg/kg and total
aflatoxin 10µg/kg. These only apply to the following
species of spices: pepper, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric and
capsicums. For other spices national legislation will apply
where implemented.

EU limits for Ochratoxin A
(OTA) in spices should not be introduced as long as there
are no validated methods for the determination of OTA in
spices.

Treatments Use
of any EC approved fumigants in accordance with
manufacturers’ instructions, to be indicated on accompanying
documents. (Irradiation should not be used unless agreed
between buyer and seller).
PURITY
Species To
be agreed between buyer and seller.
Adulteration Shall
be free from.
Infestation Should
be free in practical terms from live and/or dead insects,
insect fragments and rodent contamination visible to the
naked eye (corrected if necessary for abnormal vision).
Extraneous
matter
Herbs
2%, Spices 1%
Foreign
Matter
maximum
2%
SENSORY
PROPERTIES
Off
Odours
Shall
be free from off odour or taste.
Packaging Should
be agreed between buyer and seller.

 

 

ANNEX

PRODUCT
(whole form)

ASH

% W/W
MAX

AIA
% W/W
MAX

H20
% W/W
MAX

V/O
% V/W
MIN

ANISEED

9

2.5

12

1

BASIL

16

3.5

12

0.5

BAY

7

2

8 1

1

CARDAMOM

9

2.5

12

4

CASSIA

7

2

14

1.0

CELERY
SEED

12

3

11

1.5

CHERVIL

17

2

8

-

CHILLI

10

1.6

11

-

CHIVES

13

2

8

-

CINNAMON

7

2

14

0.4

CLOVES

7

0.5

12

14

CORIANDER

7

1.5

12

0.3

CUMIN

14

3

13

1.5

DILL
TOPS

15

2

8

-

DILL
SEED

10

2.5

12

1

DUTCH
CARAWAY

8

1.5

13

2.5

FENNEL
SEED

9

2

12

1.5

FENUGREEK

7

2

12

-

GARLIC
POWDER

6

0.5

7

-

GINGER

8

2

12

1.5

MACE

4

0.5

10

5

MARJORAM

10

2

12

1

MINT

12

2.5

13

0.5

MUSTARD

6.5

1

10

-

NUTMEG

3

0.5

12

6.5

ONION
POWDER

5

0.5

6

-

OREGANO

10

2.5

12

1.5

PAPRIKA
POWDER

10

2

11

-

PARSLEY
(not English)

14

1.5

7.5

-

PEPPER
BLACK

7

1.5

12

2

PEPPER
WHITE

3.5

0.3

12

1.5

PIMENTO        

Jamaica

5

0.4

12

3.5

Other origins

5

1

12

2

ROSEMARY

8

1

10

1

SAFFRON
WHOLE

8

1

12

-

SAFFRON
GROUND

8

1.5

10

-

SAGE

12

2

12

1.5

SAVOURY

12

1

12

0.5

TARRAGON

12

1.5

8

0.5

THYME

14

4

12

1

TURMERIC
WHOLE

8

2

12

2.5

GROUND

9

2.5

10

1.5

1) under discussion, some member
associations request max. 9 %.