NAIROBI, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Hermetic storage bags have proved to be effective in containing aflatoxin that blights key staples like maize while in storage, says a study released in Nairobi on Friday.
The study, which was conducted in Kenya by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in conjunction Purdue University and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KARLO), revealed that hermetic bags could provide answer to aflatoxin and pests that attack cereals stored in granaries.
Hugo De Groote, a lead researcher and principal scientist at CIMMYT, said the study, conducted from May 2017 to May this year, revealed that the bags are capable of protecting cereals from aflatoxin, which can cause lasting damage to human health.
"Hermetic bags work well against insects and at the same time reduces aflatoxin that has been associated with deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in recent past," Hugo said in Nairobi.
He said the study showed that six types of hermetic bags that are currently being sold in sub-Sahara Africa are effective in storing of cereals.
According to Hugo, the hermetic bags control moulds, insects, mycotoxins and reduce oxygen entry into the bags and subsequently reduce the survival of insects.
He said the bags can improve food security because they reduce post-harvest losses.
Hugo noted the technologies are affordable and have a huge bearing on farmers' incomes and consumer health.
The bags, which cost about 2 U.S. dollars, are an innovation that is ideal for small-scale farmers in areas with existing insect infestation without any risk.
They also offer farmers and traders trouble-free storage experience for up to three years since they are multi-layered and effective against weevil and larger grain borer.