Stored Products

Stored Products Overview

When we think stored products what readily comes to mind is the entomology of stored product which deals with insect pest infestation of these products. Stored products are foodstuff kept for future use. They may be preserved to prevent deterioration or simply for safe keeping. The storage of these products minimize wastage and ensure the availability of food in all seasons. For value-chain actors, stored products provide higher value during off-farm seasons when certain food items are scarce and more expensive. Canning, bagging, the use of silos, rhombus and cribs as well as cold storage are some methods of storing food items. However, the storage methods selected are influenced by factors such as temperature, humidity and moisture content, all which affect the product’s entomology.
Insect pests pose a major challenge to stored products by reducing the quantity and quality of stored items. These insects including weevils, beetles, moths and mites infest and feed on or pollute the items. In many cases, this may have detrimental effects on the human health. Microorganisms like bacteria and fungi also have the ability to infest and destroy stored products. This may be more dangerous in comparison with insect pest infestation for several reasons. Considering the microscopic nature of microorganisms, insect pests may be more easily detectable and eradicated. Also, microorganisms have a greater chance of interfering with the chemical composition of food making them easily toxic to the human health. It is important that food items are stored under excellent conditions to prevent wastage and negative impact on the health after consumption. This is why Tengrain Science offers a wide range of capacity building support to farmers and value-chain actors to ensure the safe-keeping of food.