Help needed for a pest issue - 'warehouse moth'

Sebastian
@sebastian
01/09/17 06:36:13AM
754 posts

No worries - did you open up your own shoppe?

Don't forgot to discard your winnowed shells on a regular basis, lest that become an infestation point source as well.

Jordan
@jordan
01/09/17 11:15:50AM
7 posts

Hi Andy, I lost the weekend to Sebastian and Clay, but let me answer your original question.  The difference between a regular plastic bag and a hermetic GrainPro bag is that a regular plastic bag is more porous, allowing in oxygen which enables the insects to not only live, but thrive.  

A GrainPro bag has a barrier layer, stopping the inflow (and outflow) of air.  Insects suffocate to death after a few days.   A hermetic GrainPro bag is 500x more airtight than a regular polyethylene bag.  It's more expensive than a regular plastic bag because of this barrier layer.

Regarding mold, as long as the cocoa beans are dried to the right moisture content (about 7%), they will store perfectly well in a hermetic environment.  The key is drying the beans properly (7%)  before putting them in the hermetic environment.  

You sound like you have a mess on your hands - but hermetic is a great way to control for infestation. We have users all over Latin America and the Caribbean using GrainPro to both store and ship their cocoa beans - organically.  Happy to put you in touch with any of them.  

If you have a quantity above 1 metric ton - you could also consider using a GrainPro Cocoon and flush (organically) with CO2 to kill the insects.  You can use this method wherever you have access to a CO2 cannister (most countries of the world).  

Hope this helps.  Let me know if you have  any other questions,

Jordan

Andy Koller
@andy-k
01/09/17 11:13:45PM
15 posts

Thanks for the inputs. Appreciate a lot.
@Sebastian; I am working for a chocolate company in Indonesia for the moment.
@Jordan; thanks I will have a closer look at your products.

Andy

Sebastian
@sebastian
01/12/17 12:39:17AM
754 posts

I spent a number of years in Indonesia - fantastic place, some very fond memories and some great friends there!

Andy Koller
@andy-k
01/13/17 01:38:27AM
15 posts

@ Sebastian: How long would the bags stay under the tent? Only for 1 hour or more for a few days? In jute bags, I guess...

@Jordan: We do have all cacao at the moment in plastic bags. But not hermetic ones. The big downside on buying GrainPro bags (and bags in general) is that plastic bags get really fast damaged when carried around sometimes already when they take bags down from a shelf. As they are heavy bags, they drag them from the shelf and this comes with a high risk of damaging a nice hermetic plastic bag very easy and fast.

Jordan
@jordan
01/13/17 09:13:36AM
7 posts

Dear Andy,

Our hermetic bags are intended as LINER bags for traditional jute or polypropylene bags. You MUST have an outer jute/polypropylene bag around the GrainPro liner to protect it.   Also, please note there  are are knock-off and fake hermetic bags in the market now.  If it's a real GrainPro bag it will be the color green and say "GrainPro" on it.   

If you decide to use hermetic to store your cocoa, below again are the guidelines:


  • Make sure you dry the cocoa beans to right Moisture Content (approx 7%).
  • If the cocoa beans are infested, DO NOT apply chemical pesticides (phosphine) or fumigate before storing in the SGB.
  • After you store your cocoa beans in the GrainPro SuperGrainbag (SGB), you must leave the bag closed for at least a week.
  • The SGB will kill the insects - over time -  through natural suffocation.
  • (The insects respire, taking in the oxygen (O2) and emitting carbon dioxide (CO2).  Once the O2 level drops below 3%, all living organisms (and larvae) die.  The beans "respire" as well, also emitting CO2 in storage.  This "Modified Atmosphere" effectively suffocates the insects.)

The time it takes for the insects to die depends on quantity of insects, the temperature and relative humidity (RH).  Higher temperatures and humidity lead to more insect activity, creating the engine which leads to a low-oxygen, high CO2 environment.  If you are storing the beans at a temperate climate (cool) with few insects, the drop in oxygen level will take much longer and may never reach 3% or below.   


In addition to infestation control, hermetic also preserves the color, aroma, and quality of the bean long-term, as well as protecting against cross-contamination infestation from other cocoa stored in a warehouse setting.
Sebastian
@sebastian
01/13/17 02:29:36PM
754 posts

Andy Koller:

@ Sebastian: How long would the bags stay under the tent? Only for 1 hour or more for a few days? In jute bags, I guess...

Depends on the volumes of both the beans and the concentration of the fumigant.  Your fumigation supplier can best direct you with contact times based on the specific products and quantities involved.

Andy Koller
@andy-k
01/14/17 11:18:15PM
15 posts

We might try out the GrainPro bags. What's your email Jordan?

Thanks

Jordan
@jordan
01/16/17 09:14:48PM
7 posts

Hi Andy,

I'm at jordandey@grainpro.com...

Carl Matice
@carl-matice
01/20/17 04:52:01PM
6 posts

Villa Andina from Peru ships their cocoa beans in a shrink wrapped bag and I have never had problems of molding or moths from them. They put 3 shrink wrapped bags in a box and then ship a pallet full of boxes and you dont get the damage you get from bags on a pallet.

Andy Koller
@andy-k
01/20/17 06:55:46PM
15 posts

Thanks for the input Carl. From their website, they look as they work with quite advanced equipment. Actually the idea with vacuuming to persevere the beans from damage that would otherwise probably occur when they are loose in a bag, does make somehow sense to me...

Sebastian
@sebastian
01/21/17 07:55:34AM
754 posts

carl - i suspect that the bottom of the pallet is open, allowing airflow?  IE the bottom of the pallet has not been shrinkwrapped, so the unit as a whole is not hermetically sealed..

Andy Koller
@andy-k
01/21/17 06:49:57PM
15 posts

Sebastian - is it important for the dried but raw cacao beans to have airflow? If yes, why? Because of the moisture content of about 7%?
Thanks for your input.

Happy Weekend from Indo...

Sebastian
@sebastian
01/23/17 06:55:46AM
754 posts

very important.  If you've hermetically sealed your beans at origin, you've trapped both the moisture in the beans and the moisture in the air (humidity) inside the wrapping.  When you ship that material, they are likely to experience significant temperature drops, either from being in the hold of a ship, or via the transit route the ship takes, resulting in the dew point being reached, and that moisture condensing.  I've literally seen it rain inside a shipping container that was not vented.  The story ends, as you can imagine, with a green, fuzzy, moldy mess.

Airflow is important because, as with airflow in a solar dryer, it prevents a localized accumulation of moisture by sweeping it away.

Andy Koller
@andy-k
01/23/17 07:54:24AM
15 posts

I see what you mean. Rainforest just don't belong into the containers at sea :)
Thanks for the clarification.


Jordan
@jordan
01/23/17 12:58:21PM
7 posts

Dear Sebastian, I'm having trouble following the conversation, but a couple of your comments about hermetic storage and dried commodities are completely uninformed - or I'm misinterpreting what you are saying.  Properly dried commodities - whether coffee, cocoa (7.5% MC) or grains - do NOT NEED airflow.   The point of hermetic is to restrict both airflow and moisture ingress. Yes, the temp and RH of a container - or a bag - go up and down over the course of a trans-oceanic journey.  When packed in jute, commodities take on this moisture.  When packed hermetically in GrainPro SuperGrainbags, they do not take on significant moisture.   Many studies have been conducted on this issue (here's a recent one).  Please read it's findings about moisture migration. 

What you are saying - that dried cocoa beans need airflow - is exactly what many in the specialty coffee sector argued 8-10 years ago.  After they tried hermetic - they realized they were  wrong and this has also been widely documented.  Please see Flavio Borem's work in Brazil.  Please see the millions of bags of specialty coffee and cocoa that are shipped hermetically every year.  

You are clearly highly knowledgeable about cocoa - but your comments on hermetic storage/shipping are off-base.  Again, I apologize if I'm misinterpreting your last post. Cocoa exporters/traders are using hermetic GrainPro bags to ship their beans across the globe - and the hermetic environment does control infestation and does maintain the quality, color and aroma of the bean for an extended period.  Those are just the facts.  There are no "alternative facts" - as Kellyanne Conway believes!

Sebastian
@sebastian
01/23/17 01:48:16PM
754 posts

Jordan - i have no intention of getting into an argument, and I'd classify my comments as being exceptionally well informed, from a few decades of experience with statistical, primary peer reviewed research with global organizations that have been replicated over many geographies, at the hundreds of millions of tons scale.  I respect your business and have nothing against either it (or you).  I'm certainly open to reviewing new research, and routinely welcome (and am asked) to review experimental designs, analysis, and conclusions.  I also routinely find that there are those who have strongly held conclusions without having the data to back them up; or have acquired data in a way that is effectively useless due to flawed experimental design - one ends up collecting data that they believe is something other than what it actually is. If the data is in question, then of course the conclusions that were drawn from it are in question as well.

If one is able to dry every single cocoa bean to precisely 7.5% moisture, and vacuum out the atmosphere from the contents (and it's moisture) - then the risk of moisture related problems may be mitigated.  In any given bag of agricultural commodity prepared in a 3rd world rain forest environment, i can assure you that not every single bean is precisely 7.5% moisture, and there is far more bean to bean variation than one realizes. I can also assure you that most moisture testing tools are not routinely calibrated for accuracy in that 3rd world environment (meaning their results are quite variable), and that even if they were, post testing moisture migration from the environment changes the actual moisture content of the beans once the testing has been completed anyway (it may rain on them.  they don't sit in environmentally controlled warehouses, so condensation may form during transit from one storage vehicle to another.  when they're moved they may be tarped to prevent rainfall contacting them, but the tarps are torn. how many cargo ship holds have you placed data loggers in to understand the RH conditions as the vessel transits from a subequatorial location to an equatorial to a northern one to understand the localized environmental changes that are occurring below the water line, while assessing how intact your sheathing material remained after being moved by numerous dock workers with a hook/crane configuration?  What if the rest of the material in the hold is high moisture, and by some chance of fate all your beans were exactly 7.5% moisture, but the hook that placed them into the hold scraped the sheathing and tore a hole?  etc. )

I humbly offer my knowledge - folks here can do accept it, reject it, or challenge it.  What I will not do is argue or attack the knowledge of others.

Jordan
@jordan
01/23/17 03:08:33PM
7 posts

Thanks, Sebastian.  You're right, the challenges in cocoa-producing countries are enormous.    Agreed.  I took issue with your characterization that dried cocoa beans in a hermetic environment need to be exposed to "airflow" - if this is what you were suggesting?  The reason hermetic bags work so well in a damp, wet, hot container that is in port/at sea for 2-12 weeks is precisely because the hermetic environment protects the beans from air and moisture ingress. 

Technology only works when it's accessible and properly used. For hermetic storage to work properly, the bean needs to be dried to the correct moisture content, the hermetic bag needs to be closed (sealed) properly, and the bag cannot be damaged by a loading hook.  Agreed.  These are real issues in producing countries. But as buyers demand better quality beans and the producers hope to link to these markets - they are seeking to improve their practices.  And they are.  Once they do - hermetic is outstanding for controlling infestation and preserving quality.  No "airflow" needed!

Sebastian
@sebastian
01/23/17 05:47:42PM
754 posts

It's the difference between what occurs in a perfect, highly controlled scenario, vs what one knows they're going to get (less than perfect) so having to be practical.  If 3rd world post harvest practices evolve to the point where modern drying technologies, measurement techniques, and transportation mechanisms are controlled to single percentage point accuracy - then I'd anticipate no moisture issues.  Until such time, practicality dictates alternate considerations.

Carl Matice
@carl-matice
01/24/17 11:43:36AM
6 posts

I don't know about all the debate about hermetically sealed, but I do know that Villa Andina ships me 15 kg boxes of beans with 3 5kilo bags vacuum sealed. There are no problems with moisture, mold, moths, or shipping damage. I also dont have to worry about attracting moths at my facility as the beans stay sealed until I use them. I am sure any inquiries as to how this is done or works "scientifically" could be directed to Villa Andina athttps://www.villaandina.com/

I attached a pic of the sealed bag with my hand for scale.

Garçoa
@garcoa
01/24/17 01:43:20PM
3 posts

Dear Carl, Could you share the email adress of your contact at villa adina? info [at] garcoa.ch - we were trying to vaccum seal as well but the bags always got damaged, even when using gas. It would be interesting to know how they do exactly. Thx a lot, Andreas

Carl Matice
@carl-matice
01/24/17 03:20:26PM
6 posts

My contact is Kathy Freihoff at Abbott Blackstone. Her Email is kathy@abbottblackstone.com. She may have a way to contact them directly.

Garçoa
@garcoa
01/25/17 01:45:38AM
3 posts

Thanks a lot

Andre Banks Rocha
@luisa-abram-chocolates
09/20/17 05:44:21PM
6 posts

Ok, I bought a co2 canister and will gas the beans. We have the beans placed in plastic barrels. I manage to get 2 taps on top lid. I will stick a hose to the bottom of the barrel via one one the tap, open the 2nd one to let the air inside flow to the outside of the barrel while co2 flows through the hose in the other. The barrels have a capacity of 100 litres. Any suggestions on how long should I let the co2 flow to the barrel? Also, will the co2 also prevent molds?

Many thanks for such informative post! 

 
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