Forum Activity for @Jordan

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

Help needed for a pest issue - 'warehouse moth'


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

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!

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

Help needed for a pest issue - 'warehouse moth'


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

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!

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

Help needed for a pest issue - 'warehouse moth'


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Hi Andy,

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

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

Help needed for a pest issue - 'warehouse moth'


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

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

Help needed for a pest issue - 'warehouse moth'


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

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

Jordan
@Jordan
02/03/16 04:20:55PM
7 posts

Help needed for a pest issue - 'warehouse moth'


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Thanks, Sebastian.  I understand your skepticism.  First, you're right: the GrainPro bag cannot have any holes in it for hermetic to work properly. However, I haven't found this to be a major issue.  The hermetic liner goes inside a traditional jute or polypropylene bag, which serves as a protective barrier.  Hooks are the biggest threat - at the port - but we have a sticker that says "NO HOOKS" to place on the outside of the jute bag.  It's important for the cacao grower/exporter - and the laborers who stuff the containers - to be properly trained (ie DON'T USE HOOKS!). (The Green Room is a specialty coffee warehouse in south Seatle that does not use hooks in off-loading containers.  It's a beautiful sight.)  

The specialty coffee sector widely uses hermetic and holes/damage have not been a major issue.   The other key, to your question, is storing hermetically at the correct moisture content, ie 6-7%.  High MC cacao should not be stored/shipped hermetically.  For shipping, I recommend the twist-n-tie bag.  For simple warehouse storage, the zipper bag is easy to use.  Infestation is a major issue for cocoa along the entire supply chain and we simply are over-fumigating, over-fogging and over-treating with chemical pesticides when we generally don't need to.  (This is true in the coffee and grain sector, as well).   I can design a study with you, if you want to try it yourself. There's also a number of current cacao exporters/chocolate makers (with whom I can put you in contact) who can share their own experience using hermetic.   And, again, as a reminder, for infestation control, hermetic is most effective at 20 degrees celsius and above (which is always the temp at origin)...

Jordan
@Jordan
02/01/16 12:19:01PM
7 posts

Help needed for a pest issue - 'warehouse moth'


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Sebastian, thanks for your thoughtful responses to the above - and a clarification on GrainPro bags.  With infested cocoa, in a high temperature/high humidity environment, GrainPro's hermetic bags WILL kill the insects through suffocation.  This is how it works:  the insects (and the cocoa) respire, emitting carbon dioxide, and taking in the oxygen. Once the O2 level drops below 3%, all insects die. In other words, the hermetic GrainPro bag creates a "Modified Atmosphere" - low O2, high CO2 - which is lethal to insects (and all life). Depending on the level of infestation (which serves as the "engine"), the temperature and the humidity - a 100% insect kill can take from 1-2 weeks in a 69 KG GrainPro SuperGrainbag (SGB).  It's critical not to open the SGB (allowing more oxgyen in) during this time. 

In a colder, more temperate environment, where insect activity is reduced, there is a NON-CHEMICAL way to fumigate cocoa: Flushing with CO2 (a naturally ocurring gas). Here's how:  use a GrainPro Cocoon GHF or GrainPro Cocoon Indoor (see GrainPro website), both of which come equipped with an inlet port to enable flushing with liquid CO2.   This is an organic method of infestation control - not requiring chemical pesticides.  This CO2 flushing method vastly speeds up the insect kill - and works in temperate climates/cold warehouses.

Finally, to James initial question/issue, James should request his cocoa beans in hermetic GrainPro 69KG SuperGrainbags FROM ORIGIN (ie, Venezuela), to protect the beans in shipment, stop cross-contamination (onions, ayone?) or cross-infestation - and kill off any insects that might already be in the bag (or container) during the multi-week shipment from Venezuela to US ports.   This is the only way to control infestation without using an of the chemical 'ides...

Hope this helps.