Anything being shipped by rail, truck or airplane must be classified if it is hazardous in any way. Regulations for hazardous classifications are published by various organizations around the world. In the United States all shipments come under the purview of the Department of Transportation and their CFR49 regulation. Air shipments are also subject to IATA regulations. One of the characteristics looked at for hazard level is flammability as determined by flash point measurements of various kinds.
Flavor and fragrance essences and compounds typically contain some component that is volatile and has a low flash point. Being mixed with other components (sometimes even water) can make it difficult to obtain an accurate and consistent flash point measurement on these types of materials. The preferred method in most regulations is the equilibrium method known as the Small Scale Closed Cup Flash Test. It is documented in ASTM D3828 and D3278. The great advantages of this method for this industry are the small sample sized used and the short amount of time required for testing. In addition, our Active Cool series can be made to reach flash points as low as minus 20 degrees centigrade. We have a great deal of experience with numerous flavor, fragrance, food and beverage companies using our tester for this purpose. These methods are also accepted by OSHA for MSDS sheet information and by the EPA for hazardous waste classification. For more information see our section on flash point testing.