The word hermetic means; ‘of complete and airtight seal’. Therefore Hermetic Storage refers to an airtight storage unit. Hermetic storage is a type of storage technology that protects its contents from the outside atmosphere and microorganisms that may prove harmful to the stored contents. There are different kinds of hermetic storage and these include jars, barrels, and bags or sacs. This article will talk about Hermetic storage bags and how to use them to store grain.
The science of hermetic storage
Since time immemorial, farmers and traders have come up with strategies to reduce post-harvest losses in their own ways. However, the traditional ways of reducing post-harvest losses have their loopholes and have been proven to be less efficient and effective. Because of that, agricultural scientists have improved the old ways and invented new ways of reducing post-harvest losses. One of such ways is the technology of Hermetic Storage.
Hermetic storage relies on the concept of a modified internal atmosphere. This means partial changes are made to the internal atmosphere in the storage bags and containers. With this concept, levels of oxygen in the storage units are reduced and carbon dioxide is increased. This works because, without adequate oxygen, a life of any sort cannot thrive.
Benefits of using hermetic storage for grains
Perhaps, the most important thing to know about hermetic storage is that it is airtight and works by restricting organisms such as insects and microorganisms that can damage stored commodities from thriving in its internal atmosphere by keeping its oxygen levels low. Other benefits include the reduction of grain spoilage and grain loss as hermetic storage has the ability to store and prevent atmospheric moisture from interacting with its contents for up to two years.
Hermetic storage also prevents the reabsorption of moisture from the atmosphere. Re-absorption of moisture can deteriorate stored grains as it encourages mold growth which can lead to aflatoxin contamination. Hermetic storage is also floodproof.
Additionally, hermetic storage also allows for the organic treatment of stored contents. This is done by the use of carbon dioxide to naturally flush out insects in egg larva, pupa, and adult stages, instead of using harmful chemicals. This helps to address the issue of health and safety challenges associated with the use of pesticides on stored grains and cereals.
How to store grains in hermetic storage bags
- Open the bag
- Make sure there are no impurities in the grains or cereals
- Pour the grains or cereals into the bag
- Twist the remaining top of the bag to remove air
- Secure the twist with a band
- Put the bag of grains away in a safe a clean warehouse
Examples of hermetic storage are;
- Airtight containers such as jars
- PICS (a sac lined with two layers of rough polythene)
- GrainPro Cocoons (a flood-proof bag of two plastic halves joined together with an airtight zipper)
- ZeroFly Hermetic Storage Bags (an insecticide incorporated woven polypropylene bag).
The ZeroFly Hermetic Storage Bags
Unlike regular jute bags or polypropylene bags used to store maize, hermetic bags usually contain an inner rubber lining in which grains are placed and sealed so that they are airtight. This stops oxygen and moisture movement between the outside atmosphere and the stored maize. This means any insects trapped within the bag will die after some time from a lack of oxygen. The ZeroFly Hermetic Storage Bag is one of the most popular hermetic storage bags available. It has an inner lining that prevents air and water from entering or leaving the bag, ensuring that your maize maintains the same moisture content throughout storage. In addition, it has an insecticide incorporated in the outer bag which kills insects trying to penetrate the grain from the outside.
Technology has proven in more ways than one to be very useful in making our lives easy and enhancing our quality of life. Technology is applied everywhere and farming is no exception. Ultimately, the use of hermetic storage by grain farmers, traders, and aggregators will help reduce post-harvest losses and increase income. That is why at Sesi Technologies, we are committed to empowering African farmers through technology. You can get in touch with us on 0555699870 to purchase your hermetic storage bags to help you reduce loss and gain more.