Moisture content and fluctuating temperatures are one of the biggest challenges farmers face when it comes to safely storing their grains. In order to make sure stored grain doesn’t spoil during the warmer months, farmers must frequently analyze samples of their stored grain to make sure it’s able to handle the heat. The ideal temperature for storing grain and preventing mold and insect growth is anywhere between 25°F and 60°F, but these storage temperatures can be hard to maintain when outside temperatures are consistently over 80°F during the summer. Freshly harvested grain is particularly challenging to store because of its naturally higher moisture content and temperature. During storage, the grain changes both physically and chemically, and this warmer, wetter grain will respire in its storage bins, producing additional heat and moisture. Consequently, that additional heat and moisture generated during storage leads to hotspot development, mold growth, and mycotoxin development – all of which lead to grain spoilage.
I’m looking forward to meeting with QA, QC, product development and R&D specialists from some of the world’s most profitable organizations at IFT2014 later this month. As they get ready to learn about the latest in product, ingredient and technology improvements, and how these latest developments will impact their business, I’m getting prepared to wow them with how our innovations in measurement instrumentation will help them realize their quality, product introductions, and profit goals.
With the weather now warming up as we get closer to Summer – it’s important to regularly check your grain quality. Any small change in moisture can be costly.
Agricultural grain and seed moisture meters are constantly adapting to meet the needs of the myriad of industries they serve. Since starting with handheld rice and grain analyzers we developed in the 1940’s, we have seen a surge of new grains and seeds enter the marketplace. There are few industries in which moisture measurement is of greater importance, as the moisture content of grains and seeds cycles into every aspect of their journey from raw goods to consumers.
Dale Carnegie, whose book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, took its groundbreaking cues from such industrial giants as Henry Ford and Charles Schwab, some great educators in the laws of success. Instead of focusing on the specific manufacturing process, Carnegie’s lessons recognize that it’s the people who run the equipment that make a business successful. No matter what test instruments or state-of-the-art moisture meters you own, your attitude will ultimately determine the quality of your business, and product.
As you seek to optimize production, there are obvious operational costs where efficiency must be assessed. However, evaluating rising labor, fuel, freight and materials costs is likely to reveal resources that have already been stretched to the max through unrelenting improvements to efficiency. Additionally, the value of purchasing a new instrument, particularly when the models in use are operating properly, may be overlooked by you and your team.
Whether your business is in the food, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, personal care or chemical industry, your company’s success depends on developing protocols that produce replicable, high quality results.
Discovering new spices and recipes, sampling new foods, and taking home delicious new recipe ideas is all part of the enjoyment of IFT - we should know, we've been doing this for over 15 years.
A wide array of measurement instruments and technologies exist to test the moisture in grains and seeds. The reason for this variety is that moisture is one of the most important variables to control when growing, harvesting, processing and finally, preparing the grain for consumption.