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  • How to store grains and pulses in a safe manner?

    Planning to store grains and pulses for a year or few months? Want to know to avoid development of bugs and pests in them? Look out for easy and tried and tested methods to store grains and pulses on this Ask Expert page.

    What is the safe yet easy way to store grains and pulses? I put 'parad' tabs in them but it is not a safe method. I tried dried neem leaves but still bugs/ pests develop in them. Kindly suggest an easy and self tried method to keep pulses free from bugs.
  • Answers

    10 Answers found.
  • In our house, we were storing grains and pulses. We purchase and keep them 3 to 4 months. We were mixing Parag tablets. When we cook we have to see that these tablets will be removed. Otherwise, the food will get spoiled. This was the problem we faced many times.

    We tried mixing bleaching poder small quantities. In this case, there was no problem for the grains. But when we cook them we should wash them very carefully many times and see that the content of bleaching powder will get washed away. Then there will not be any problem of the material coming into the food.

    Even though we mix bleaching powder we should open the bags once in two months and keep them in sunlight for some time and then again pack them back. If we do this we will have the material safe and there will not be any bugs or pests.

    Before mixing the bleaching powder you should see that there will not be any moisture in the pulses or grains. If necessary keep them in sunlight for one or two days. After mixing the bleaching powder pack them in bags which will have air circulations. Gunny bags are good for this. Plastic bags are mot advisable. Before you use the material keep them in sunlight for two days and then pack them in a container.

    These days we stopped purchasing in bulk as this process is very cumbersome and we started purchasing once in a month.

    always confident

  • We personally in our house store all pulses and cereals which we don't consume regularly in Refrigerator in an air tight container. The container should basically be dry before you store any pulses or grains. Its a tested and proven method and by using this method basically we have stored the pulses and grains for about a year now. Please note you should not store in deep freezer.

    In case you have no refrigerator or even if you have and have got no space to store then you can store the specific grains and pulses in a air tight container and regularly keep an check.When you find time in holidays, 15 days once just spread the grains and pulses in a cloth under sunlight for an hour or two and later store it back again in air tight container.

    One more advice is don't go with some medications and chemicals to store the grains and pulses rather try above methods and also try not to purchase and store any food items in home for long time and purchase what is required for a month or two.

  • Storage of grains and pulses is a difficult task in our country as we have moisture/humidity in the climate. Higher the humidity, the higher is an aid to the rapid growth of all insects. To keep the grains and pulses for the long-term, we need to control the moisture, temperature, humidity, light and air content during storage.

    Some of the tips to keep your grains and pulses in a safe manner are:
    -Store in a dry place.
    -Use stainless steel airtight containers.
    -Avoid using wet spoons/hands
    -You can use Neem leaves: Pluck neem leaves in the quantity of 40-50 leaves per kg of grains and shade dry them. Once dry, crush them to coarse and take a muslin/cotton or linen towel, fill the crushed neem leaves in it and tie the cloth. You can make 3-4 pouches and put it in middle of the bin in which you are storing the grains and place some leaves on top of the grains or pulses but inside the bin. Neem leaves have a bitter fragrance and alkaloids that help to repel insects and pathogens.
    -You can even use bay leaves to store the pulses. You just have to place 3-5 bay leaves inside the container of an airtight jar. It also prevents the growth of insects and pathogens.
    - Try to place the containers in the sunlight for some time every 2-3 weeks as this will help to remove moisture from the jar/bin. Moisture helps the growth and sunlight will help to remove the moisture from the jar/bin and helps to store the grains/pulses for longer period.
    -Try to store grains/pulses at a lower temperature area if possible or should be below 25°C but above freezing temperature, it helps to increase the shelf life of the grains/pulses.

    “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

  • Storing grains and pulses is a tedious task and requires care at many stages. First and foremost is the quality of the items you are buying from the market and the quantity of it. The quality is very much important as it will immediately start getting bugs if the quality is compromised. Many people bring the best quality from the market and it stays long with some basic treatment. Quantity is important from the angle that if you bring in small quantity then there will not be hassle of keeping it in big containers and you can always bring more from the market whenever needed. This way, one need not to go for elaborate storing process.

    Anyway, the main reasons for grains and pulses getting affected are the air, moisture and heat which are the best breeding ground for the microbes and bugs. So it is required that we have to keep the dry pulses in an air tight container. If the quantity is less then one can keep them in fridge also as they remain fresh in that temperature condition. Depending on the availability the pulses are to be stored in any type of container like glass, plastic, aluminium, ziplock bags, steel etc and only thing is the container should be air tight. Another important thing is do not use a big container for small quantity because the air in the remaining container will spoil the item.

    There are some precautions we have to take while buying these items. First is check the expiry date if any on the packet. If it is in loose, examine it for presence of small bugs etc. Sometimes from the smell and texture of it you can find that it is old stock and stale one and immediately go bad if stored in the kitchen. Another precaution to be taken is when you bring a fresh stock of pulses do not mix it with the earlier one and use the earlier one completely and clean and dry the container before pouring in the new stock. One more thing which is to be taken care is the cleaning of the cup boards where we store the containers. Periodic insecticide spraying of cupboard is also an essential step for keeping the things neat and orderly free from bugs.

    There are many ways we can prolong the life of pulses and some of the measures are -

    1. Before keeping the pulses in the container rub them with a little amount of oil preferably castor oil using a table spoon of oil for about 1 kg of pulses.

    2. Keep dry neem leaves inside the container. They work as insecticide.

    3. Bay leaves ( 3-4 numbers) can also be used in place of neem ones.

    4. Keeping dry red chillies is also a tested method to preserve the pulses.

    5. If you doubt that the quality bought is not up to the mark then it is advisable to roast it in heat for some time in a pan and then only store it so that the humidity in it is removed.

    Knowledge is power.

  • What we have been doing at our home is to purchase the grains and pulses on the wholesale rates and store them in the airtight jars. We shall put the dried neem leaves which act as the anti insect's agent. Normally the insects won't enter the airtight jars. But before storing the grains and pulses in the jar it is imperative to dry the grains and pulses to the sunlight so that any insects which are already residing inside the grains and pulses would die due to sun heat and then store the same with the above-mentioned safety method. We have not experienced any insect attack after doing the above.

    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • Storage of grains in a safe way would require monitoring some critical parameters such as the moisture content of the grains, the temperature of of the stored area, even distributions of the grains for the removal of moisture etc.
    The best way prior to storage would be to keep the grains before the Sun- light for a couple of hours to eliminate any germicide existing in the grains. The ultra - violet Ray's emanating from the sun would be sufficient to kill the fungus and germicides.
    In case of pulses and grains, containers with air - tight mechanism should be chosen to prevent the entry of air from outside.
    Care should be taken to regulate the moisture of the grains necessatating exposure of Sun - Ray's time to time.
    Keep Neem leaves on the uppermost surface of the grain so as to protect the grains from the attack of any germs because of germicidal properties of Neem - leaves.
    Insulation of air is the most important aspect and hence plastic bags with no permeability of air would enhance the shell - life of grains.

  • In cities, we usually do not have open space to spread the grains in sunlight, hence it becomes more difficult to store food grains for a longer time.
    You can try the below options-
    1. If you have to store grains for a longer duration, prefer airtight packaged grains, mostly available in malls or supermarkets. The reason behind this, the grains are cleaned and then packed in an airtight manner, so there is a less possibility of bugs growth in them until you open it. You can prefer small packings depending upon your consumption.
    2. Some of the grains can be stored roasted, so you can roast them in a little amount of ghee and store them in airtight containers.
    3. Do not store grains untouched for longer period. Although you are not using it, you should check them on a regular basis and can shake them a bit.
    Other options are already mentioned in the above responses.
    Lastly, I would suggest you that nowadays, it is easy to shop grocery whenever it is required, so it is better not to store for more than 2-3 months. This will save you time, energy and even space in your kitchen and refrigerator.


    Living & Learning- simultaneous processes!

  • Steel containers are best for storing grains and pulses for a long time. Buy airtight steel containers, wash them clearly and dry well in sunlight.

    One or two easy methods for storing all kinds of grains and pulses are given below.

    First, You take a fresh package of grain you want, and store it in an airtight, clean and dry steel container. Then add one or two tablespoons of mustard oil in it and mix it well. It can be used for a long time if properly sealed.

    Another easy method for storing grains and pulses is given below.

    Sprinkle little turmeric powder in the steel container. then store pulses, and close the bin as airtight. Grains and pulses can be used for a long time

  • I have used many methods to store the grains and pulses but the only one which really worked is putting the little oil on them and just rubbing them with oily hands. This is one of the ways that always works. Only care we have to take is before putting the oil we should see that the grains or pulses are dried and not damp as usually happens in rainy season. In some areas people keep them in he sun for some hours before applying the oil. The castor oil is recommended but if not available then mustard oil can also be used.

    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • Nowadays, all e-commerce site and retail stores are giving good offers to attract their customers. And there are lots of offers also available on grocery items including flour, rice and pulses. It is always good to purchase them at low prices during offer period and store them for later use. But storage of grains and pulses, safely to prevent them from spoilage or pests, is not an easy task. There are several factors that affect storage of grains and pulses. The main factors are temperature, moisture, aeration, humidity, light etc.

    There are several ways to prevent spoilage of grains and pulses. These are :
    1. Neem leaves: Dry neem leaves should be mixed with the grains and container should be sealed to prevent air contact. It is the safest way.
    2. Use of spices: Some of the spices are also very useful in controlling pest. Chilies are effective to stop insect attack.
    3. Garlic: Garlic cloves are also used to keep insects away from the stored grains.
    4. Turmeric: Turmeric is also highly effective to control pests due to its smell. Grains should be rubbed with turmeric and stored properly in airtight containers. 40 gm of turmeric should be rubbed in 1kg grains.
    5. Bay leaves: These can also be used to prevent pests attack.
    6. Use of Salt: Salt is also a good preservative. It stops entry of insects in to stored grains. Salt (200 gm) should be mixed with 1 kg of grains and kept in jute gunny bags and should be properly stitched. It can keep grains protected up to 4-5 months.
    7. Lime treatment: Lime powder (calcium carbonate) is mixed with grains and stored in jute gunny bags. Usually, 10 gm of lime powder is used in 1 kg of grains. It provide long lasting protection from pests.
    8. Some of the grains can be roast and stored for a longer period.

    There are some suggestions:
    1. Buy quality grains and pulses: Always buy good quality grains and pulses. You can buy them from big mall and good shop. Also check expiry date of the item you are going to buy and try to buy the item with longer expiry date. Smell from the grains is helpful to identify if the packet is old.
    2. Control the temperature: the temperature of the stored area should not be high and it should be controlled.
    3. Improve aeration in the area where grains and pulses are stored.
    4. Check grains frequently: Grains should be checked frequently for any pests or insect growth.
    5. Use of air tight containers: Air tight containers are to be used. They can be made up of steel, glass, plastic or any other material. Airtight container helps to keep freshness and also keep the grains moisture, odors and ?avors free.
    6. It is good to buy pulses whenever required.
    7. One more suggestion never use chemicals and medications like wheat pills Aluminum Phosphide, Celphos, Talunex, Fumitoxin, Fieldphos, Phostoxin, and Weevil-Cide etc. in stored grains to prevent from attack of pests. They may cause more harm instead of benefits.

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