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Description: May be packed in gunny bags. It is liable to tainting, heating and caking when wet. Dampness causes flour to heat and ferment, resulting in an odor which can permeate other cargo stacked nearby. Moldiness and caking may be due to stowage close up to an insulated bulkhead; in fact flour will always turn moldy and cake unless stowed well clear from such bulkheads with free ventilation space between. The longer the extraction of flour, i.e. the darker the flour, the greater is the risk of its going lumpy under hot weather conditions. Lumpiness can arise without any contact with water. It is risky to send long extraction flour on a long, hot journey to the Tropics. Lumpiness in flour may arise out of natural causes. Certain flours are more liable to become lumpy than others, especially when subjected to a long ocean voyage through tropical climates and when stored for a long period in a hot climate, particularly if under pressure. Recent contact with water limits the damage to a coating of caked flour, which protects the remaining flour in the bags from water infiltration, and provided the flour is quickly segregated and the caked flour removed, a good portion of the contents may be saved. If this operation is not carried out with the utmost speed the flour not affected by water will be tainted and badly damaged through lack of ventilation. Flour is also lost through tearing of containers as a result of careless handling or the eating of part of the bags by rodents. Sweepings are usually collected and are replaced in slack bags, provided they are deemed free from dirt and impurities; otherwise sweepings should be separately packed to avoid mixing with sound flour. Flour is also liable to be infested with insects; it should then be disinfected and sieved. A musty odor should not be confused with an odor derived from the bag in which the flour is usually packed; such odors are usually removed by proper airing of the flour. Flour is very hygroscopic and will absorb and lose moisture ac cording to the conditions of stowage and storage. If stored in conditions of high humidity the development of mold, bacteria and insect life is accelerated. Such mold and bacteria are dormant in flour and only require certain conditions to cause this dormant life to manifest itself. Such development, however, does not necessarily destroy the flour which, if properly sifted, is fit for use. Very seriously infected flour, if unfit for human consumption, may be used for other purposes. Flour is frequently shipped in polythene bags enclosed in the usual cotton bags. When loaded in cold temperatures, sweat may take place (according to the voyage) while the goods are stowed in the vessel's hold, with the result that the outer covers may be found to be badly stained with green and black mildew, but with the flour unaffected. See also IMDG Code & US CFR.
Index: 315
Commodity Name: FLOUR

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