Grain Disinfestation, Oxygen Deprivation, HDPE buckets


Effective methods of grain disinfestation include freezing, the use of carbon dioxide gas, and the use of pesticides. Oxygen deprivation has also been shown to be an effective method of disinfestation when the oxygen content is held below 1% for at least 12 days (d). High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) 5 gallon (gal) buckets have become a popular and convenient storage container for dry foods such as wheat, rice and beans. Oxygen absorber packets are an effective way to remove the oxygen in high-barrier sealed containers to prolong the life of many of these foods. It is hypothesized that sealed HDPE buckets containing oxygen absorber packets can be used to reduce the oxygen to low enough levels for enough time to accomplish disinfestation. Experiments were conducted to determine how long the oxygen content of 5 gal buckets filled with wheat could be held below 1% when various numbers of oxygen absorber packets were packaged with the wheat. Although it was possible to use oxygen absorbers to reduce the oxygen level below 1% for 12 d, this treatment was shown to be an unreliable disinfesting method because the oxygen levels in the samples exceed 1% too frequently. Because this method is inconsistent consumers would require evidence that the necessary conditions have been met, but this would call for tools not available to most consumers. Therefore, it is not recommended that consumers use this method to disinfest grains.

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Life Sciences


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science