13.7   Risk factor Odor
13.7.1 Odor tainting (active behavior)
13.7.2 Odor sensitivity (passive behavior)
13.7.3 Loss prevention measures
Odor is defined as the perception of gaseous substances as the result of chemical stimuli of the nasal mucous membranes. When odor-producing substances are in the solid state (e.g. naphthalene) or the liquid state (e.g. perfume), it is only the vaporized portions which have an odor. Odor intensity is here determined by vapor pressure. Odor intensity depends upon the number of free molecules within the structure of a substance. The molecules may become attached to other substances, imparting their odor to them. Depending upon whether the aromatic substances are water- or lipid-soluble (fat-soluble), they are adsorbed to differing extents, for example, by aqueous or fatty foodstuffs. If the odor is sufficiently strong and the goods sufficiently susceptible to foreign odors, odor tainting may occur. When deciding whether different kinds of goods can be stored together, the following factors must be considered: Odors may be evaluated using the following criteria:
  • Odor type
  • Odor intensity
Odor type, which is subdivided into pleasant and unpleasant odors, takes account of humans' response to foods and animals' response to feedstuffs.
With regard to odor intensity, a distinction is drawn in active behavior between:
  • What effect do the goods have on foods and feedstuffs?
  • What effect do they have on the atmosphere in containers/warehouses?
With regard to passive behavior, goods are rated on scale running from non-odor-sensitive to extremely odor-sensitive.
The influence of temperature and vapor pressure on the odor intensity of the goods must also be taken into account.
On voyages from a cold to a warm climate, vapor pressure and thus also odor intensity increase as the temperature rises and vice versa. When estimating the odor intensity of a cargo, it is thus necessary to take account of the duration and season of the intended voyage and the climatic zones which will be passed through.

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