Commodities such as soya bean meal, sunflower seed pellets, palm kernel expellers, and others have been shipped for many years in large volumes. These are the solid residues left behind when oil is removed from oil-bearing seeds. The amount of residual oil in these materials varies substantially depending on the technology used to extract the oil. Like all agricultural commodities these materials have inherent moisture. They are used as ingredients in animal feed materials.
Although the oil level in these commodities is invariably much lower than the oil level in the original unprocessed seed or plant, the fact that these feed materials have been processed and the underlying plant cellular structure disrupted means that the residual oil is more prone to undergoing oxidation reactions with the air than is the case in unprocessed seeds. Because of the possibility of chemical oxidative reactions in the oil, these commodities have the capability of self-heating to much higher temperatures than do the seeds themselves.
For many years, the universal name used to describe these commodities was simply “seed cake”.
Perhaps that is a strange term to use for a group of commodities which are very widely traded and are well known under their individual names, but until recently seed cake was the only recognised bulk cargo shipping name in use. The term seed cake can be found throughout the harmonised UN system for carriage of cargos in bulk and packaged forms with UN Numbers 2217 and 1386 applying where these materials are Class 4.2 (spontaneously combustible) because the oil is sufficiently reactive to give rise to the risk of eventual spontaneous fire.
Seed cake cargoes (1.61 MB)