Posts Tagged ‘drying and grain storage’

NEW SCIENTIFIC PAPER DISCUSSES AFLATOXIN CONTROL WITH SAFER POSTHARVEST PRACTICES

June 28th, 2017

In human beings, high aflatoxin levels depress the immune system, thereby contributing to many health problems ranging from cancer and susceptibility to HIV, to stunted growth among children. This led governments in Africa to band together to stop the spread of Aflatoxins in the continent. At an October 2016 meeting with the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), Ugandan President, H.E. Yoweri Museveni called for a collective effort among African countries to address aflatoxin challenges.

However, improved postharvest handling remains the most overlooked component for effectively preventing aflatoxin growth. In hot, humid climates, long term conventional storage can cause exponential growth of aflatoxins. It shows that restricting the increase in aflatoxin levels during both drying and storage is a major challenge, particularly under hot and humid conditions.

An increasingly popular and inexpensive alternative method for controlling aflatoxin growth during multi-month storage is using flexible, Ultra Hermetic™ storage containers. This storage technology relies on creating a conditions that will control increase in aflatoxin levels through the bio generation of low oxygen levels. For the successful application of Ultra Hermetic storage as well as for other storage methods, crops must be adequately dried, typically to a point below their ―critical moisture level (in equilibrium with 65% relative humidity).

This paper examines the prevention of the exponential growth of aflatoxin occurring in multi-month, postharvest storage in tropical countries, with examples from field experience and scientific data. Four approaches to modern, safe, postharvest storage methods are described, the most successful being the use of flexible, Ultra Hermetic™ airtight structures creating an unbreathable atmosphere (low oxygen, high carbon dioxide) through insect and microorganism respiration alone, without use of chemicals, fumigants, vacuum, or refrigeration.

COFFEE SEED PRODUCER FIGHTS OFF COFFEE PESTS WITHOUT USING PESTICIDES

December 9th, 2016

MATAGALPA, NICARAGUA – A trial in October found that the GrainPro® SuperGrainbag® (SGB) Premium RT can stop insects without adverse effects on coffee seed germination. This came after the trial commissioned by a national coffee seed producer provided positive results against Coffee Borer Beetles (Hypothenemus hampei).

During the trial, two SuperGrainbags – one bag was flushed with carbon dioxide and the other was used without flushing – were tested against a conventional polypropylene bag that was used as a control. Andrés Cortés, GrainPro Regional Manager for Central America, reported that in both SuperGrainbags the pests were fully exterminated without any adverse effects to the seed germination rate.

In Nicaragua, coffee seeds are normally kept in polypropylene bags that are stored inside cold rooms. Often, the infestation present in the stored seeds, builds adaptive responses that allows it to thrive once temperature increases. Since trade laws require that coffee should not have traces of chemical fumigants, producers are challenged to find innovative ways to control infestation.

GrainPro’s SGB Premium RT is a popular multi-layered liner for coffee and other prime agricultural commodities. It is relied upon by many coffee producers and traders for its low permeability to air and moisture, factors that contribute to the development of molds and infestation among stored commodities. By controlling a low moisture content and low oxygen atmosphere using the SGB liners, farmers can safely preserve coffee beans and seeds free from insects such the Coffee Borer Beetles without using harmful chemicals.

For more information about the SuperGrainbag Premium RT and other GrainPro products, log on to www.grainpro.com.

REDUCING AFLATOXINS IN GROUNDNUTS COULD LEAD TO HIGHER PROFITS

July 29th, 2016
Appaw presented his preliminary findings in January 2016 at the West Africa MSN-GLEE (Multi-sectoral Nutrition Strategy Global Learning & Evidence Exchange) workshop in Accra.

Appaw presented his preliminary findings in January 2016 at the West Africa MSN-GLEE (Multi-sectoral Nutrition Strategy Global Learning & Evidence Exchange) workshop in Accra.

Preliminary results of a new study from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Peanut and Mycotoxin Innovation Lab reveals that better drying and hermetic storage can reduce aflatoxin growth on groundnuts, making the legume safer for human consumption.

The study was led by William Appaw, a master’s student in Food Science and Technology at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana. It is part of a collaboration between the USAID, universities such as the University of Georgia and North Carolina State University in the US and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana, and the Ghana Peanut Value Chain Intervention.

According to the study, groundnuts dried on a tarp did far better than those dried on the ground, with 85 percent less aflatoxin. But it was hermetic bags that significantly reduced the growth of aflatoxins showing a 95 percent decrease. Appaw released the preliminary finding in January. (Credits to William Appaw and the University of Georgia).

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“This could mean more profit for those nuts that are stored or, eventually, an opportunity to feed the local industry and also export because they have had consistently low aflatoxin readings,” Appaw said.

Storing groundnut in hermetic bags greatly reduced the amount of aflatoxin appearing in nuts.

Storing groundnut in hermetic bags greatly reduced the amount of aflatoxin appearing in nuts.

Groundnuts dried on a tarp seem to develop less aflatoxin than than those dried on the ground.

Groundnuts dried on a tarp seem to develop less aflatoxin than than those dried on the ground.

CONFERENCE STRESSES IMPACT OF STORAGE INNOVATIONS IN IMPROVING AFRICA’S FOOD SECURITY

July 12th, 2016
Phil Villers (GrainPro) stresses the importance of food storage.

Phil Villers (GrainPro) stresses the importance of food storage.

NAIROBI, KENYA – Food security experts from 15 countries openly discussed challenges and solutions during the first Africa Strategic Grain Reserve Conference on June 14-15, 2016 in Nairobi. The Conference, sponsored by the African Union’s Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), GrainPro, the Schooner Africa Fund, ABT Associates and AGCO/GSI, brought together more than 100 participants from governments, development groups and the private sector to address food losses and aflatoxin problems, and assist grain reserve agencies throughout the continent.

During partnership dialogues, the participants agreed that postharvest losses and aflatoxin growth are the two biggest challenges to food insecurity in Africa totaling $4 billion in lost value annually. They stressed that establishing strategic grain reserves will have a positive impact on food security, disaster risk reduction, and in stabilizing food prices throughout Africa.

The partners recommended that governments, cooperatives and small farmers gain access to appropriate storage facilities and modern innovations to cut down food losses and prevent the proliferation of aflatoxin in food staples. One such innovation, Ultra Hermetic™ technology, for example, can implement cost-effective grain reserve systems that are easy for smallholder farmers and large scale producers to use and manage.

Strong public-private partnerships can lead to Africa’s food sufficiency.

Strong public-private partnerships can lead to Africa’s food sufficiency.

Unprotected bags of grains are typically covered with tarps in Africa

Unprotected bags of grains are typically covered with tarps in Africa

Hermetic Cocoons can help protect grains against insects and fungus.

Hermetic Cocoons can help protect grains against insects and fungus.

Partners listen in to challenges that concern Africa’s food security.

Partners listen in to challenges that concern Africa’s food security.

TRIAL OF GRAINPRO® DRYING AND COFFEE STORAGE UNDERWAY FOR TOMASTEPEC

March 2nd, 2016
Tomastepec farmers are testing the SGB Premium RZ on their high-valued lots. The SGB Premium RZ is an Ultra Hermetic liner with superb hermeticity to stop infestation and inhibit fungal contamination.

Tomastepec farmers are testing the SGB Premium RZ on their high-valued lots. The SGB Premium RZ is an Ultra Hermetic liner with superb hermeticity to stop infestation and inhibit fungal contamination.

Palencia City, Guatemala – Smallholder coffee farmers of the Tomastepec cooperative began testing GrainPro® drying and grain storage solutions on February 12, 2016 at their headquarters in Palencia.

Tomastepec is a cooperative of smallholder coffee farmers that produces approximately 800 bags of export-quality coffee annually. In order to meet increasing demands for quality, the farmers looked for new solutions that will improve their post-harvest processes. Through Cedicafé, the innovations division of the Asociacion Nacional Del Café Guatemala (Ancafé), they met with Esteban Grisola, CEO of EGS Divisiòn Veterinaria Y Agrícola, who introduced to them GrainPro’s innovative Collapsible Dryer Case II™ (CDC II) and the patented SuperGrainbag® Premium RZ (SGB Premium RZ).

According to Grisola, the farmers are in dire need for solutions that will have an immediate impact on their post-harvest processes. Currently, Tomastepec has a small patio where the beans are sun dried. After drying, they store their coffee in regular polypropylene bags which are vulnerable to insects and moisture.

The SGB Premium RZ is an Ultra Hermetic™ liner that prevents the exchange of gases and moisture. It eliminates insects of all life stages and inhibits the growth of fungal contaminants without the use of harmful chemicals to safely preserve commodities. Meanwhile, the Collapsible Dryer Case II is a solar dryer that enables drying on almost any flat surface. It dries with minimum losses and operational expenses, thus, making it an ideal alternative to expensive mechanical dryers.

Tomastepec farmers understand that high-quality coffee will fetch for better prices in the market, helping them raise their quality of life. The farmers are already looking at buying at least six CDC IIs. For more information about the SuperGrainbag Premium RZ, the Collapsible Dryer Case II and other GrainPro products, please visit www.grainpro.com. In Guatemala, you can reach EGS Divisiòn Veterinaria Y Agrícola at (502)22225700.

Tomastepec farmers are readying the CDC II for its first batch of coffee.

Tomastepec farmers are readying the CDC II for its first batch of coffee.