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Integrated pest management of rice for consumption

Monitoring insects and fungi in stored rice from the field to industrial areas, as part of risk assessment and as a decision-making tool. Application of alternative less noxious control methods than traditional ones.

Rice is a sensitive product attacked by biological agents like insects, mits, and fungi. In addition, oxidative processes reduce rice quality and flavour during handling and storage. These agents cause insect and mite contamination, filth, discoloration, loss of flavour, and the presence of dangerous mycotoxins. The conventional methods of quality protection are based on periodic use of residue leaving chemicals that are harmful to the user, the consumer, and the environment. The project is a development project addressed at the integration of environmentally sound and sustainable technologies to replace conventional chemical treatments needed for protecting the quality of rice at different phases of post-harvest handling and storage in order to meet European standards. It is the ultimate goal of this project to develop a quality system for managing stored rice in order to mitigate spoilage and infestation by addressing five major criteria: 1) performance of field studies; 2) monitoring of storage; 3) performing risk assessment; 4) examining control strategies and 5) providing lectures/workshops on the fundamentals of the quality system developed. The following activities are proposed for reaching the goals: 1. Develop applied detection techniques for determining the presence of stored product insects in the field: the main objective is to evaluate the presence of noxious agents that may already exist in the field and factors that affect emigration. 2.1. Monitoring environmental conditions: apply data loggers, with temperature and relative humidity sensors to farm storage and warehouses containing final product. This will provide the fundamental basis for estimating risk assessment periods. 2.2. Sampling insects from the rice storage facilities: to study pest populations, density and spatial patterns, to identify sources and reasons of infestation as part of the risk assessment, and to assist in effective decision-making regarding appropriate control strategies. A) For crawling insects: Pitfall traps with lure (food and/without pheromone) will be placed in the rice mill and in warehouses with the finished product. Probe traps without lure will be placed within stored grain. The traps will be monitored (monitoring plan developed from temperature and relative humidity data) and the insects identified and counted. This will be used to assist in control strategy development. B) For flying insects: Delta traps with pheromone lures for pyralidae moths will be placed on walls and machinery in rice mills and warehouses. The traps will be monitored and information used as in A). C) Detection of hidden infestation: Several methods will be examined and compared to evaluate what techniques for determining hidden infestation at different stages throughout the processing would be most beneficial. An acoustic insect detector will be evaluated. D) Application of electronic monitoring: To investigate an automated insect-monitoring system (Stor-max(TM) system). This provides real-time data indicative of infestation levels in stored grain in addition to providing temperature information from the area of capture. This information will assist managers to make control decisions in a real time manner. 2.3. Detection of mycotoxin producing fungi: samples will be taken from throughout the storage system from on-farm to production facilities. Qualitative and quantitative studies on aflatoxin identification and presence will be carried out. 3. Development of risk assessment model (cost versus benefits): from the results of previous tasks the 'risks' (risks can be defined as critical control points as used in HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) models) will be discussed and evaluated to assist those managing stored rice in order to make effective decisions. 4. The main objective will be to integrate techniques to minimise the application of synthetic chemicals. Assessing techniques such as heat desinfestation for empty storage areas and premises, and modified atmospheres for the treatment of polished rice will be explored. Technologies studied will be enriched carbon dioxide atmosphere packaging and modified atmosphere treatments in hermetic devices. Comparisons will be made as to efficacy, dosages needed for the control of the main and secondary pests, application strategies and permeability of different plastic materials in respect of carbon dioxide and oxygen. The synergistic effect of carbon dioxide enriched atmospheres and several food additives for the control of rice pests will also be investigated. Current control methods usually applied, such as PH3, on rice in the EU will be evaluated and compared with the developed techniques. 5. Providing lectures/workshops on the fundamentals of the quality system developed.
Acronym: 
IPM-RICE
Project ID: 
3 747
Start date: 
02-01-2006
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
300 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Food Microbiology / Toxicology / Quality Control
Market Area: 
General food products

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.