Valuing the quality of our lives also means valuing the quality of our food. Science tells us that in order to function well daily, we need a variety of vitamins and minerals from fresh, healthy, and nutritious food.


Sadly, however, food does not always equate to good food. Processed and industrial manufacturing may have taken shortcuts that unfortunately also took a toll on the nutrition that our food can provide. In fact, food quality is a bigger issue than many of us realize.

Improving food quality is critically important, as this ensures that we are getting safe and nutritious food items. Focusing on food quality also protects commodities from contamination and maintains their overall weight, quality, and quantity.


The good news is there are several ways that we can improve food quality, particularly in post-harvest processes. Here are a few ways to do it:

1. Preserve nutrients and micronutrients

Food quality pertains not only to taste but also to the amount of nourishment that we get from food. Having better post-harvest management systems, such as better storage and adequate transport solutions, ensures that the food we eat comes to us with the nutrients that we need.

During post-harvest season, rice, wheat, or grains that are left exposed to contaminants and pests are prone to nutrient loss. Thus, we should learn to maximize the natural nutrients in our food with the help of secure post-harvest facilities.


Related: Benefits of a Good Storage System for Cereal Grains


2. Eliminate or lessen synthetic chemicals in food production

Pesticides, insecticides, and fumigants all have advantages and can significantly help reduce agricultural losses when properly used. However, we also need to take into account the health effects that these synthetic chemicals have on our bodies. Prolonged exposure to even small amounts of pesticides can cause chronic pesticide poisoning while being exposed to larger quantities can lead to severe acute poisoning. This results in various health issues, from simple headaches to general health decline.

Crops are sprayed with pesticides to help control insect infestations when in storage. This is often done multiple times in order to avoid post-harvest losses. However, there is actually a simpler and healthier solution. Storing commodities in gas-tight and moisture-tight containers can effectively control insect populations without the use of toxic chemicals.

Along with using such containers, implementing a controlled atmosphere treatment using carbon dioxide makes eliminating pests and preventing infestations easier. This treatment is healthier, and a much less hazardous practice because it eliminates the risk of chemical contamination.

Food handlers and consumers are less likely to be exposed to dangerous chemicals by using better storage solutions. At the same time, we're assured that food quality is easily improved.


Related: Blending Hermetic Technology and Carbon Dioxide


3. Use proper drying methods to inhibit mold growth
Our grains, maize, rice, and other crops are usually dried before being packaged and sent to our groceries and markets. This process prolongs both the shelf life and the quality of our food.

However, grains that are not properly dried can often develop mold growth. Toxic substances like aflatoxins and ochratoxins come when this happens, even if the mold is still unseen by the naked eye. This means we can still ingest these substances while our food has no visible evidence of mold.

Properly drying grains after harvest can help put an end to this issue. Using dryers that efficiently dry grains without damaging them can help avoid mold growth and contamination.

Related: Reducing Health Risks Through Mold Growth Prevention



Multiple issues aside from low food quality can also be addressed when these steps are seriously and fully integrated into our post-harvest systems.

One such issue is food loss. Food producers and traders can lose commodities because of improper post-harvest management resulting in insects or mold growth. So when better post-harvest solutions improve food quality, we can also significantly reduce food loss and waste.


Related: To A Sustainable Future: Benefits of Reducing Post-Harvest Loss


Malnutrition is also addressed when food quality is improved. Nutritional value is an important factor of food quality, which can be retained with proper post-harvest systems as well. This is especially important in developing countries, where nourishment and good nutrition can significantly boost mortality and development rates amongst children.

Addressing these issues will also considerably help establish food safety. When we use better post-harvest solutions, we can be assured that our food and our health are no longer at risk from insects, molds, and contaminants.

GrainPro's solutions aid in creating better post-harvest systems. With more reliable storage, transport, and drying technologies, managing food quality can lead to better food, fewer losses, and healthier communities.



For more information on GrainPro’s post-harvest solutions, click the button below.
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Date Published: January 19, 2020

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