2014 Project update: Dry chain can maintain seed quality in humid regions

Description

This poster was presented by Peetambar Dahal, of UC Davis, and provides updates for the project "Implementing drying beads for seeds" in Nepal, Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda.

The dry chain can maintain seed quality in humid regions

Abstract: In humid regions, the major factor contributing to loss of seed viability is lack of adequate drying. Seeds (and other dry commodities) must be dried soon after harvest to preserve quality. Once dry, they must be packaged to prevent reabsorption of water due to ambient high humidity. We have termed this the “DRY CHAIN” in analogy to the cold chain for fresh produce. However, once dry products are hermetically packaged, they do not need to be refrigerated and no further energy input is needed to maintain their quality during storage.

The dry chain includes:

  1. Harvest
  2. Dry
  3. Package
  4. Transport & Store
  5. Consume or use

Seeds are harvested at moisture contents that are too high for safe storage, so further drying is required before storage. Drying beads (desiccant) can dry seeds to low moisture contents for safe storage. Simple, low-cost methods are available for monitoring seed relative humidity. Drying seeds below 40% relative humidity prevents damage from storage insects. Dry seeds should be packaged in hermetic containers.

This poster was part of the Horticulture Innovation Lab 2014 Annual Meeting, which took place March 17-21, 2014 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The poster is supplemented by an additional handout.

Technology

Drying beads

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