Jute Products 

Food Grade Jute Bag

Background of IJO Standard 98/01

Use of mineral-oil based batching oil in the process of manufacturing jute bags used for packaging food grade materials has been a matter of concern for the final consumers due to alleged and possible hydro-carbon contamination of such bags. In order to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of all concerned, IJO organised an international workshop in February 1998 in Calcutta which was attended by the producers and buyers of the jute bags and also by end-user industries of food grade materials like Cocoa Beans, Coffee Beans and Shelled Nuts.  The workshop resulted in the elaboration of a draft standard specification for jute bags used in the packaging of such food grade materials, including the establishment of maximum tolerance levels for hydrocarbon residues.  The standard arrived at stipulates that the bags should not contain unsaponifiables exceeding 1,250 mg/kg. The International Jute Council (IJC) accepted the recommendation of this workshop in March 1998 and adopted the specifications as IJO Standard 98/01.  The standard entered into force on 01 October 1998. The standard has been accepted by the International Cocoa organisation in May 1998.

IJO Standard 98/01

[Special Criteria for the Manufacture of Jute Bags used in the Packing of Selected Food Grade Materials (Cocoa Beans, Coffee Beans and Shelled Nuts)].

1.  Introduction and General provisions

These IJO criteria have been established in response to the perceived need to provide for a universally acceptable specifications relating to the manufacture of jute bags used in the packing of food materials with particular reference to cocoa beans, coffee beans and shelled nuts. The criteria are intended to facilitate the minimization of mineral hydrocarbon contamination arising from the use of jute bags. Good manufacturing practice shall be followed in the production of jute bags which should meet the defined chemical and organoleptic criteria described in paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 below. Jute bags shall also conform to the legal requirements for food packaging materials and waste management of the respective countries.

2.  Analytical Criteria

Ingredients of batching oils shall be non-toxic and approved for use in packaging materials that will come into contact with the selected food materials. Batching oils shall not contain compounds that could produce off-flavours or off-tastes in food material packed in jute bags.

2.1.  Chemical Criteria

         Unsaponifiables              <1250 mg/kg

2.2   Organoleptic Criteria.

      Jute bags shall be analysed for their olfactory qualities. No undesirable odours or odours untypical of jute shall be present. No unacceptable odours shall develop after artificial ageing of the bags. [The ageing procedure described in EN 766 shall be used for this purpose (Reference 2)].



  1. International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)  2.401
  2. Sacks for the Transport of food aid, European Standard EN 766.

  3. Erstwhile  British Standard 3845:1990 ( Method for the determination of added oil content of jute yarn, rove and fabric )

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