The post harvest loss of food grains during storage or transport continues to be a serious problem to be resolved. The last decade witnessed a great imbalance between emphasis on improved technology to enhance the crop production and dearth of effective post harvest technology to protect the harvest grains from insects, mites, rodents, fungi and bacteria until it reaches the consumer. In fact, more than 4.0 million tones of food grains is lost per year and the cost to the economy due to this loss is enormous.
Therefore construction of sophisticated structures for grain storage and transportation, equipped with drying, aeration and fumigation facilities is the most important element in a strategy to save grains and some units have already installed in India at different ports in the country.
Today and more and more in future, chemical pest control and other traditional methods of food grain preservation is becoming unacceptable and CO2 gas is being increasingly used for this application.
Toxic Substances have so far been used to control/destroy insects e.g. Ethylene Dioxide is used for disinfestations of foods but these toxic substances are coming in for increasingly stronger criticism. Substances like Methyle Bromide, Hydrogen Phosphide etc. also face the problem of residue seriously. Therefore, research was undertaken to substitute and supersede such chemicals with natural residue-free and environment friendly disinfestations process.
In this new process of fumigation evolved the originally packed agricultural product is exposed to pressurized CO2 atmosphere. The infestation is done on the optimum condition and cycle time of few hours is required for the products which have to be fumigated. No special pre or after treatment is necessary. Products are taken to a special enclosure and the enclosure is flooded with gaseous CO2 to the required final pressure for a pre determined period of time.