roducts such as grains, seeds,oilseeds, nuts, and similar are stillalive when stored after harvest. Theirvital activity consumes their own mass andoxygen, generating carbon dioxide, waterand heat. This can create a multitude of well-known troubles such as stored productweight loss and quality decrease.
Insect infestation is a particular problemin poorly stored grains. Insects eat and infect the stored product, which is also reheateddue to their vital activity. Insects start their presence from 13ºC, although the realinsect infestation occurs from 18ºC with apeak between 30ºC and 40 ºC for mostinsect species.Mould presence and subsequently danger-ous toxins, some of them carcinogenic, may enter into the food chain. Unfortunately, notall micro-flora presence is avoided by chilling the grain, since some species can survivebelow zero degrees centigrade. However,for the most part, micro-flora growth staysunder control since most micro-flora speciesdevelop at temperatures between 20ºC and40ºC.In addition, water condensation insidesilos and warehouses, can make grains stick to the silo/warehouse wall and rot.In the case of grains with a high oil or fatcontent, their quality decreases quickly due to the fat oxidation. Heat speeds up thisunwanted process.Some products change colour under inadequate storage conditions. For examplerice changes colour from white to yellowish,and later to orange. The colour change is aclear indication of product damage duringstoring, and its price drops a lot.
Graph 1 shows different effects of storinga product (in this case the graph is suitablefor wheat and corn) under different condi- tions of temperature and water content.From the graph it is evident that a highproduct temperature or moisture, or both,will damage the grain irreversibly.Table 1 shows the weight loss that occur during any grain storage depending on dif-ferent grain conditions. In just three months, the weight loss may be the 3 percent of allstorage. Quality loss occurs also although isnot accounted in the table.
Solving storage issues
Traditional methods to try and solve these issues include natural aeration. Under cold weather, ambient aeration is an excel-lent practice. It must however be expertly used since the different ambient air condi- tions between day and nights may createuncontrolled dryings or re-wettings of thestored product.Under hot or hot and humid weather conditions, aeration is not applicable since the air does not have the right conditions to be blown into the stored product. If air is blown into the product under suchconditions, there is a high risk of productreheating and product rewetting that willdamage it soon.
Weight loss of grain during itsstorageCase:Product: corn Amount: 1.000 MTMoisture: 15%Storage time: 3 monthsGraintemp ºC Weight loss,MTChilled grain 10 ºC0.5Temperate grain20 ºC6Non-chilled grain 30 ºC9Non-chilled grain 40 ºC30
by Joan Rius, managing director Conserfrio, Spain
Graph 1: Adequate conditions forgrain storageGraph 2: Silo chilling sketchGraph 3: Sketch of grain chilling in awarehouse
feed mnG tenooGy36 | march - pril 2013