Storage

postharvest-storageThe purpose of any grain storage facility is to provide safe storage conditions for the grain in order to prevent grain loss caused by adverse weather, moisture, rodents, birds, insects and micro-organisms like fungi.

In general, it is recommended that rice for food purposes be stored in paddy form rather than milled rice as the husk provides some protection against insects and helps prevent quality deterioration.

However, when rice can be stored as brown rice, 20% less storage capacity will be needed. Brown rice is rice grain with its hulls removed but not polished. Under tropical conditions brown rice has a very short shelf life, approximately two weeks.

Specific challenges in the humid tropics

Rice grain is hygroscopic and in open storage systems the grain moisture content will eventually equilibrate with the surrounding air at the so called equilibrium moisture content (EMC). High relative humidity and high temperatures typical for the humid tropical climate lead to grains absorbing water in storage and to a high final moisture content.

In many tropical countries, the equilibrium moisture content is above safe storage moisture levels.


Storage systems

Storage systems

Rice can be stored in bags, bulk, or hermetic containers.

Storage pests

Storage pests

Storage pests cause losses through a combination of feeding, spoiling and contamination of both paddy and milled grain.

Cocoon

Cocoon

The Cocoon™ is a commercially available hermetic storage container that consists of two plastic halfs that are joined together with an air-tight zipper.

Measuring moisture content

Measuring moisture content

Different moisture contents are required per postproduction operation. These should be followed to ensure good quality of paddy.

IRRI Super Bag

IRRI Super Bag

The IRRI Super bag makes the principle of hermetic storage available to farmers and processors at low cost.

Using local containers

Using local containers

In local markets there are available containers that can be easily converted into a hermetic storage system.

FAQs on storage

FAQs on storage

Answers to frequently asked questions on storage