Storage of Cereals in Warehouses with or without Pesticides
Insects , Volume 11; doi:10.3390/insects11120846
Abstract: At a time when there is much talk of reducing pesticide use and the implementation of integrated pest management, mainly in fields and glass-houses, it is appropriate to consider how cereals in storage are handled and what measures are taken to protect them against insects and other pests. For decades, the use of various synthetic pesticides has been the basis for the proper and long-term storage of cereals, primarily free of insects and mites, but also fungi and their mycotoxins and rodents. However, due to the registered negative effects of synthetic pesticides, such as dichloro-diphenyl-trihloroethane (DDT) or methyl bromide, on human health and the environment, and the appearance of resistance to, e.g., malathion, researchers have been looking for new acceptable control measures. Due to the proven and published non-acceptable data regarding synthetic pesticide effects, a combination of physical, mechanical, and biological measures with the minimal use of synthetic pesticides, under the name of integrated pest management, have been promoted. These combinations include high and low temperatures; the removal of dockages; and the application of pheromones, diatomaceous earth, and natural compounds from various plants, as well as inert gases, predators, and parasites. A ban of any synthetic pesticide usage is currently being considered, which emphasizes the fact that protection should only be performed by measures that do not leave harmful residues. However, the facts show that the application of physical, mechanical, and/or biological measures, besides the fact that they are not necessarily efficient, is very demanding because more knowledge and experience is required, as well as better equipment, greater financial investment, and awareness raising not only for agricultural producers and storage keepers, but also for consumers. In order to use these measures, which are less hazardous to humans and the environment, it is necessary to adapt regulations not only to speed up the registration protocols of low-risk pesticides, but also to prescribe criteria for placing agricultural products on the market, as well as quality standards, i.e., the permitted number of present insects, in addition to their parts in certain types of food. Additionally, we should be aware of control measures for protecting novel food and other non-traditional foods. It is important to continue to combine different protection measures, namely integrated pest management, until all of the other new procedures that must be carried out during the period of storing cereals and other products are clear, in order to ensure the best quality of final products for consumers.
Keywords: damage / integrated pest management / quality / Insects / storage / Cereals
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