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Food safety and integrated stored pest management

04 November 20207 min reading
Veli Can ILKGUN Sales Executive Bayer Environmental Science Turkey

“Considering food safety and supply chain, it is necessary to prevent quality and quantity losses that will occur in post-harvest storage processes. Therefore, attention is paid to many parameters during the storage season. Depending on the stored product; temperature, humidity, properties and general condition of the storages, storage time are key factors.”

The crops are produced by making serious efforts during the period starting before the seeds meet with the field and until the harvest. The result is very valuable in both commercial and human terms. Crops are one of the main input sources for industrial production and other usage areas; In particular, it once again came to the fore during this period that it was critical for the production of basic foodstuffs. At this point, it has been observed that storage activities play a key role in the post-harvest period as well as the cultivation and harvesting of the crop.

Increasing world population, changing dietary habits, increasing consumer concerns about food safety and many other factors fundamentally affect production and distribution of foods. For the human population that will reach 10 billion by 2050, studies are carried out to prevent the increase in production and food losses in a sustainable way.

Considering food safety and supply chain, it is necessary to prevent quality and quantity losses that will occur in post-harvest storage processes. Therefore, attention is paid to many parameters during the storage season. Depending on the stored product; temperature, humidity, properties and general condition of the storages, storage time are key factors. Control and management of Stored Product Pests (warehouse pests) is one of them. It has been reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that there may be very serious quantity and quality losses up to 30% in poor storage conditions during post-harvest storage period. For this reason, in order to prevent these losses in the post-harvest storage period which is getting more and more important; it is necessary to recognize the pests that cause losses in stored products and to fight these pests properly.

Problems caused by stored product pests, • First of all, they cause direct quantitative losses in the contaminated product. Loss of weight is one of the problems faced by businesses as direct material damage. • Pests also cause a decrease in quality due to residues and dirt left on the product. It can create serious quality problems for the semi-manufactured and final products. So it may cause damage in terms of production and quality costs. • As contamination increases, Insects, moulds, and the grains themselves produce water in respiration, i.e. a breakdown of carbohydrate substrate. In humid conditions, without adequate ventilation, mould development and "caking" can spread rapidly, causing severe losses. All products in the warehouse are at risk. • Some storage pests damage the embryo in the grain and reduce the germination rate as the seed will not germinate. • In addition, consumption of contaminated products poses a risk to human and animal health. • Rodents contaminate more than they consume, creating a risk of disease transmission.

Some microorganisms, rodents and especially insects damage the stored products during storage. These pests break and damage foods by eating them. Therefore, the crop loses its commercial value, quality, physical and chemical properties, and seed loses quality. Studies show that pests cause serious losses in stored grains, starting from the 1% to 30%. When we consider a business that stores 10.000 tons of wheat annually; and If the correct and effective pest control and management practices are not implemented, at least 1,000 tons of loss may occur in this business. In this case, there may be negative effects in terms of loss.

• The main insect species that are harmful to stored cereals; • Grain Weevil (Sitophilus granaries) • Rice Weevil (Sitophilus oryzae.) • Maize Weevil (Sitophilus zeamais) • Lesser Grain Borer (Rhizopertha dominica ) • Khapra Beetle (Trogoderma granarium Everts) • Angoumois grain moth (Sitotroga cerealelle Oliv.) • Confused Flour Beetle (Tribolium confusum.) • Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis L.) • Mealworm Beetle (Tenebrio molitor L.) • Flour Moth (Ephestia kuehniella ) • Indian Meal Moth (Dried Fruit Moth) (Plodia interpunctella )

The correct determination of the species of the pests is very important as it affects how the fight will be done and therefore the result and efficiency to be obtained from the fight.

In addition, rodents contaminate the foodstuffs in the warehouses and bins through their urine and feces, except for consumption. Rats and mice can spread salmonella with the droppings they leave. They also cause some diseases to spread. For example; such as typhoid, typhus, cholera, plague.

They destroy the places where they are. Rodents can gnaw materials such as steel, concrete and plastic, including electrical cables. Mice and rats have a very high ability to reproduce. As a result of the breeding of a pair of rats and their offspring, their numbers can reach thousands within a year, and this number can be much more.

The most common types of mice in warehouses; • Rattus norvegius • Rattus rattus • Mus musculus

Removing food sources is a key factor in successful rodent control. Garbage, food or feed should be stored in sealed containers as much as possible. Outdoor debris and weeds close to buildings should be removed.

It is essential to regularly check the external environment of businesses and buildings for signs of rodent infestation. Measures should be taken to prevent entry and exit of rodent, and it is imperative to provide isolation. It may be helpful to have a map or plan of where rodents have seen or where there is evidence of infestation. Using the right method and is essential to control rodents.

The presence of pests is one of the fundamental problems for the safety and suitability of food. Pest infestation can occur in the living areas and/or in the food supply chain. Empty grain warehouses/silos are ideal environments for many pests to live in, and these environments can contain more pests than we think. And these pests can invade the grain that comes to the warehouse after harvest. Control strategy is must within an IPM strategy! Some precautions should be taken before the grain is taken to storage.

Buildings should be designed to prevent the entry of insects and other pests and to eliminate potential breeding / nesting areas for pests. It must be kept in good conditions. Holes, drains and other places likely to allow pests use as a door for enter to buildings should be kept closed. In places where closure is not possible, precautions should be taken to reduce the possibility of pest entry, such as the placement of mesh wire mesh. For example, ventilation windows and drain outlets should be covered with a mesh wire made of suitable material.

In the second step, to maintain an insect-free environment. Detailed and comprehensive cleaning should be done. physical arrangements generally start with the cleaning of the warehouses. Locations where insects nests are determined and those all cracks and broken surfaces are repaired with suitable/durable materials. For example, in steel silos, attention should be paid to the cleanliness of the inner surfaces and floors, and problems such as cracks should be eliminated. In addition, clean the outside perimeter of the steel silos, product entry-exit points and ventilation parts. Good hygiene practices, control of received materials and good monitoring; minimizes invasions and thus the amount of pesticides used.

Empty warehouse spraying should be done if necessary to eliminate the risks of all pests in empty storages. While spraying the permanent surface, it should not be forgotten that the application is made in order to control the pests in risky areas or that will come later. All surfaces should be sprayed to prevent pests from escaping and spreading. During the application, attention should be paid to the potential hiding areas of cracks, crevices and other insects. The correct dosage should be applied and the appropriate calibrated spraying machine or equipment should be used. Products labels should read carefully.

The area and its surroundings should be reviewed regularly so that the invasion situation can be observed in advance. To prevent Pest infestation, an IPM strategy should be applied and it continues regularly. Chemical, physical and biological elements should be used in a way that does not harm food safety and sustainability.

Bayer Enviromental Science Turkey : https://www.environmentalscience.bayer.com.tr/

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