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STORAGE OF FOODS

    Food storage refers to the keeping of the food for sometime before ultimate use. There are two aspects to food storage namely

    • Post- harvest storage- This is the storage of crops immediately after harvesting from the farm.
    • Storage of the prepared or food at home.

     

    THE CHOICE OF STORAGE TO BE USED IS INFLUENCED

    BY THE FOLLOWING FACTORS:

    • The nature of food stuff.
    • The facilities available in the house.
    • The length of storage required.
    • The ultimate use of the food stuff.

    METHOD OF POST- HARVEST STORAGE METHOD

    • RHOMBUS: In Nigeria for instance common method for grain storage is Rhombus which is a large flask shaped or cylindrical container having capacities for up to 2000 kilograms or grains depending on the size. The nature of the building materials which could be woven grass, Mud or a mixture of these as well as the size and the shape of the rhombus depend on the local culture and tradition.

     

    • GRANARY OR MUD SLIDE: Another common storage method that is practiced in many African countries at traditional level is the use of the compound house into the wall of the house with materials such as clay mixed with grass and juice or some local fruit and tree bark. Granaries are mounted on storage or low platform to prevent running water during the rains, or water from coming into contact with the storage and its content. This method has advantage of being able to store large quantity of gains, especially shelled or threshed, keep storage temperature as uniform and constant as possible while preventing infestation by rodent, insect and other pest. However its construction may be too time consuming while adequate ventilation is difficult and gains have to be properly dried before putting in storage. A smaller form of the granary is the crib or barn used for the unshelled maize.

     

    • CRIB: Cribs are built with stick, raffia palm, bamboos and similar material, usually material on the farm. Cribs are simple and easy to construct and use and there or saving of time of use since commodities can quickly be transferred into the storage from the field. The inside of crib is well ventilated and this allows the storage, of gain with a relatively higher moisture content than for safe storage since drying is possible while the gains are in storage. Good ventilation also prevents accumulation of heat which could be damaging to the grain and enhance microbial spoilage and insect infestation. Cribs can however be easily destroyed by termites which limits their live span. Stored grain is also prone to insect infestation and exposed to pilferage.

     

    • HUTS: Placed in a platforms built over a bearth, heat, generating from the fire- place penetrates the grains and hence assists in reducing moisture content. The smoke thus generate creates an unfavourable condition for the insects and pests to thrive. This method is usually used for maize yet to be dehulled.

     

    • JUTE BAGS: Jute bags can also be used to tore threshed and shelled grains which are then stored either inside the compound house or on the ceiling. The storage environment must be kept clean at all times to prevent attack from insect’s pest and rodents. Jute – bags method is convenient to use while bags can be marked for easy identification of grains belonging to different people or those stored at different times. Extra effort is required to make the storage environment rat- proof and prevent insect infestation by fumigation.

     

    • SUSPENDED ON TREES: Have grains packages and suspended on trees. This promotes good air circulation and consequent aeration of the stored cereal grains can be used. The most common modern method of storing cereal is in specially constructed silos.

     

    Evaluation:

    • What is storage of food
    • Explain the methods of post harvest storage

     

    Assignment:

    Explain 6 methods of home storage of food stuffs.

     

    See also

    METHODS OF PRESERVATION OF FOODS

    PRESERVATION OF FOODS

    CONVENIENCE FOODS

    HYGIENE

    SAFETY IN THE KITCHEN

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