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Researchers from Intermountain Healthcare have developed a smartphone-based test for measuring salivary cortisol, which can help care providers understand the patient's stress levels.
When someone feels stress, their body’s natural response is to release hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, to help them deal with the “threat”.
When people feel stress throughout the day, thus releasing too much cortisol, it can lead to anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory and concentration impairment.
To perform the test, care providers use a smartphone's camera to take a picture using the flash. That said, he adds that the test also helps people with other conditions and a number of adrenal gland diseases, including Cushing's syndrome. This chapter focuses on storage, processing and distribution or marketing of food in sub-Saharan Africa. In many ecological zones crop production is seasonal, yet household food security depends on a regular and sustainable supply of food throughout the year.
Intervention points to improve food distribution and food and crop storage are identified in Box 25.
In general, potentially effective improved post-harvest technologies for grains have been identified. Households make choices on how much to store and how much to sell depending on the market price, their own consumption needs, storage facilities and their needs for immediate cash. The level of production is also affected by post-harvest prospects, market facilities and market information. Food should be equitably distributed but often is not, even where sufficient food is available.
In some developing countries an estimated 25 percent of all food produced is never consumed by humans. The dependence of much food production on climatic fluctuations means that variability in food output can never be completely avoided. Roots, tubers, bananas and plantains account for some 40 percent of total food supplies (in terms of food energy) for about one-half of the population of sub-Saharan Africa, where overall food supplies are at very low levels. Most farming families adjust their production of perishable products such as roots and tubers to minimize post-harvest risks.
Fresh cassava tubers, once harvested, deteriorate rapidly and therefore are best left unharvested until needed.
In the highest areas of northwestern Cameroon, potatoes were grown by women farmers as a cash crop.
A two-year project under the Special Action Programme for the Prevention of Food Losses therefore allocated resources to pioneer potato storage, and an experimental store of 7 tonne capacity was constructed using local materials. Adequate preliminary analysis ensured that this project took a step away from the narrow approach to storage. Fresh cassava tubers deteriorate rapidly; therefore domestically grown cassava is sometimes left in the ground until the tubers are required for immediate consumption.
If early processing is not possible, fresh, undamaged cassava roots may be stored for a short time by burying them in moist dust or sand. Damaged sweet potatoes may become infected with mould, and from time to time outbreaks of poisoning have been reported in livestock fed on the larger coarse-textured varieties. There is a tendency to view the preservation and storage of harvested foodstuffs as the duty of women. With the exception of maize, yams and rice, there are no specially designed local structures for storage of the food crops grown in the community.
On-farm storage is becoming increasingly important now that the role of marketing boards has been reduced and farmers are having to store much of their surplus on the farm for many months. Traditional grain cribs for maize and other grains, including legumes, are shown in Figure 23. In Swaziland, maize is grown by 94 percent of the farmers and occupies 70 percent of the total cropped area.
The maize loss assessment survey found average losses of 23 percent in drying and storage, of which by far the greatest loss was attributable to rotting of grain in the field drying period (~15 percent) prior to placing maize cobs in cribs for further drying and storage. The project's socio-economic survey covering 866 households found among other things that women were heavily involved in all aspects of maize handling and that harvests were frequently delayed to allow the participation of children during their school holidays. In the Ebli-Va, the traditional maize storage structure of Togo shown in Figure 23, maize cobs are placed on top of each other on a platform to form a circular wall. In arid zones grain may be dried in the field, on the stalk, spread on mats or bags along the roadside or on threshing floors made for this purpose. Storage problems may sometimes arise with the introduction of new, high-yielding varieties. Where possible, post-harvest improvements in developing countries should be relatively simple and inexpensive. In Zambia, the rain-fed maize crop was harvested once a year and therefore had to be stored for nine to 12 months for family use. In 1983 and 1984, as a follow-up, a technical loss assessment exercise and a socioeconomic survey were undertaken to evaluate the efficiency and appropriateness of the bins that had been already installed as demonstrations on farmers" premises.
An appropriate innovation may be defined as one that resolves what is perceived as a key constraint in a traditional system at an affordable cost and yields substantial benefits without involving unacceptable changes in practices. The improved cribs shown in Figure 24 are well ventilated, allowing harvest at high moisture content. Promotion of storage of cereals in solid-walled bins should also be accompanied by the introduction of improved shelling and threshing techniques, since in the bins cereals are stored in bulk.
These studies illustrate the importance of examining the impact of changes on the whole food system from the point of view of the producer and the consumer. Despite stringent quarantine regulations, the introduction of new crops can also introduce new storage pests which render traditional storage structures inadequate. The larger grain borer, Prostephanus truncatus (Horn), is a storage pest from the southern United States and Central America which was accidentally introduced into Tanzania during the late 1970s. A multi-donor-funded control and containment campaign coordinated by FAO, with aid-in-kind provided by the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Economic Community (EEC), recommended shelling the maize from the cob as soon as possible after the harvest, treating it with specified insecticides and storing it in a container which minimizes the risk of subsequent insect and rodent attack. An attempt to measure the effect of the recommendations on maize storage losses showed that when food removals for home consumption or for sale throughout the year were taken into account, the real food loss during a season was less than 2 percent.
The programme has increased awareness at all levels of the seriousness of the larger grain borer problem, and during its course government support and participation increased more and more. The following points represent a suggested code of good storage practice, and thus offer a set of guidelines in the adoption of an appropriate storage system. Community storage for improved household food security (see Box 33) can be very effective, especially in remote areas where people do not have ready access to markets, in areas where markets are not functioning properly or in areas that are periodically threatened by drought-induced food shortages. Mycotoxins are chemical substances that contaminate various agricultural commodities, either before or after harvest. International trade in agricultural commodities such as wheat, rice, barley, maize, sorghum, soybeans, groundnuts and oilseeds amounts to hundreds of millions of tonnes each year. Losses can be reduced by following good agricultural practices during pre- and post-harvest handling. Prevention of attack by fungi, insects and other pests is of prime importance in post-harvest storage.
Second, the product should be placed in a container or structure that will maintain a suitable environment and prevent or restrict the entrance of insect and animal pests. Last, the grain should be accessible throughout the storage period for additional treatment if necessary to maintain good condition, particularly with respect to heating and moisture absorption. Since in many cases agricultural crops are seasonal, they must be stored from one season to the next.
In order to prevent losses in quality or quantity, the product (crop) must be protected from insects, rodents, mould and biochemical deterioration.
Foods are processed to improve their digestibility and to enhance their appeal to the consumer. Village-based processing includes basic transformation activities such as milling as well as processing of products for which there is a potential market. On a larger scale, agro-industries convert commodities into processed foods which are usually more stable and more marketable than the raw, untreated commodity. Secondary processing, or transformation, usually involves some alteration in the form of the foodstuff to facilitate its subsequent use. Tertiary processing involves the conversion of uncooked materials into products and food combinations for human consumption. Foods may spoil in many ways: by internal reactions between components, by reactions of the components with water and air, or by the enzymic and toxic effects of growth of microorganisms.
That purpose may be achieved by raising or lowering the temperature or the pH of the substrate and by controlling contact with water and air. Fresh cassava roots are peeled, washed well, cut into large longitudinal strips, and thoroughly dried in the sun. Cassava flour is made from dried cassava slices, either by pounding them in a mortar or by grinding them on a flat stone followed by sifting.
Cassava flour may be baked into a hard, flat bread, but the acceptability of such products depends on the quality of the flour.
After drainage is complete, the meal is removed from the bag and sieved on a flat sitter made from palm fibre. Production of gari has been mechanized in some West African countries, notably Nigeria and Togo. This product was initially considered to be tasteless by consumers accustomed to the traditional preparation, and the texture was considered to be too uniform. Cultivation of ensete (Ensete ventricosum), also known as false banana, is limited to Ethiopia, where it is a staple food crop of the people of the Gurage and Sidamo areas in the southern highlands. The parts of ensete prepared as food vary from place to place, but they generally include the starchy portions of the pseudo-stem pulp (which may be boiled fresh as a vegetable), the young shoot, the trunk of the tuberous rootstock and in some cases the upper part of the root.
The young root may be cut up and cooked like a potato, but the other vegetative materials are usually pulverized and fermented in a type of silage pit for periods ranging from a few weeks to several months before consumption. After three or four weeks the pit is opened and a starter from a strongly fermenting order silo is added to accelerate the fermentation. Although fresh meat is preferred when available, dried meat is prepared to ensure a supply to distant markets and to preserve meat that is not required for immediate consumption. Biltong is a traditional dried meat product of southern Africa which is prepared by air drying salted meat strips. In Ethiopia, a type of yoghurt, called ergo, is prepared by incubating milk at room temperature for two days in a vessel that has been smoked with olive wood. In northern Ghana, the juice from the leaves of Calotropis procera is extracted and used like rennet to precipitate the curds from heated cow's milk. Although some whole-grain products may contain a higher percentage of nutrients, this advantage is not necessarily matched by an increase in the amount of nutrients available to the consumer.
Milling may reduce the amount of fat, protein and fibre and increase the proportion of starch.
Drying foods reduces the water content and so increases the concentration of other nutrients. Consideration must be given to the effect of processing on the chemical composition of cereal products and hence their nutritional value. Germination or malting of grain provides a convenient method of increasing the energy density and digestibility of infant foods. In some food preparations germination is combined with fermentation to produce a sour, malted flavour, which is preferred in many communities (see Box 44). In Africa, germination and fermentation are traditional practices in the preparation of cereal porridges.
In Uganda, a thin porridge called obushera is popular; it is prepared by using germinated fermented grain flour.
The combined germination and fermentation improve the digestibility of the cereal and increase the content of vitamins in the prepared food. Fermented, malted cereal pastes are less glutinous and sticky than those prepared from the unmelted grain, which is an important factor in preparing food for infant feeding. Numerous attempts have been made to introduce improved technology into traditional food processing to reduce the labour demands on women. The outer layers of certain varieties of sorghum seed contain tannins which are slightly toxic, have a bitter taste and inhibit protein digestion when consumed.
Red or brown sorghum continues to be grown in many parts of Africa because of its bird resistance, in spite of the availability of white non-tannin varieties. Sometimes the soaking water is brought to the boil, the fire extinguished and the pot left overnight. It is stressed that careful drying after parboiling is essential to minimize post-harvest losses. Dehusking of paddy, which is sometimes referred to as milling, is the process of removing the outer husk. Hand-pounding produces an undermilled rice which is of greater nutritional value since it retains part of the bran with high thiamine and also protein content. Maize grain is either pounded using a wooden pestle and mortar or ground by hand on a stone by a quern (a rotating hand-driven stone mill). If the meal is not used whole, it is transferred into a flat basket and, by shaking, the bran is separated from the floury endosperm. Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. The FDA was rumored to be investigating Mars’ NUTRO pet food after collecting a number of consumer complaints and lab results.
NUTRO, which has extensive international operations, was acquired in 2007 by Mars, Inc., the privately-held Virginia-based food products company.
NUTRO® products are safe and conform to the standards set by the FDA, USDA and AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). Also, we do understand and sympathize with owners who have lost their pet, and we ensure that our food meets all FDA, USDA and AAFCO standards. I guess that your Nutro pet food meets all FDA, USDA and AAFCO standards is irrelivant to the 600+ consumers who have had sick or dying pets. Shame on the Nutro company for not stopping manufacture and shipment of all their food until this is cleared up. I used to work for Nutro as Pet Nutrition Specialist and I resigned last year as a result of complaints I was hearing in the stores and NOT just on the consumer affairs website.
I really would like to see Nutro go back to being on its own as a stand alone company without MARS PetCare.
I also hope that this comes to resolution very soon and we find out one way or another what happened. Until Nutro posts actual lab tests on the dog and cat food, anything else is just PR garbage…If they actually wanted to regain trust from ALOT of pet owners, they would!
We’re certainly not ignorant of the importance of online conversation, or the fact that “sterile” communications within online communities is often unwelcome. A YouTube video is an interesting approach — it certainly worked for the likes of JetBlue, for example — but we wanted to focus our efforts on the places where the dialogue appeared to be taking place.
PFPSA is the group that found high zinc in Nutro dog food in 2008, but was ignored by Nutro and FDA.
Just because a company had a problem with one of their product, does not mean that a company is not concern about their consumers. He ate mostly Nutro Lamb and Rice wet food along with other high quality foods for variety.I, too, believe that there is no coincidence here. I have been feeding my dogs, Chrissy and Al, Staffordshire Terriers, Dick Van Patton for years.
The tests we’ve ordered on Nutro products show a consistency of formulation that is slipshod at best, and inherently deadly at its worst. Answers to the discovering cell function worksheet, Workshop: cognitive processing therapy. Teacher guide to the human body – worksheets, lesson plans, A load of great printable resources, worksheets, and lesson on the human body. Esl kids worksheets body parts worksheets, English courses and materials for kids, children and young learners,english for kids,esl kids worksheets english for kids,esl kids worksheets body parts worksheets. Cell structure and function questions for tests and worksheets, Create printable tests and worksheets from cell structure and function questions. Environmental science (evs) : body parts worksheet (class ii), Environmental science (evs) , worksheet body parts, internal organs class ii cbse. When cortisol is released, it increases glucose in the system, but also curbs nonessential functions including the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. It stresses the importance of these functions and shows some of the ways in which they could more efficiently supply consumers with adequate and diversified food, thereby ensuring physical access and enhancing household food security.
Thus an adequate crop and food system is needed, together with efficient processing and distribution of foods, to ensure equitable and adequate supplies at the national, district and household levels. In future, the focus of post-production activities for grains should be on adapting the new technologies to specific environments and ensuring that they are economically and socially viable. If the local distribution and marketing system is efficient, they can rely on food being available for purchase all the year round, but if they are isolated for at least part of the year through bad roads and lack of transport, their food security will be more at risk and home storage is likely to receive higher priority. Some perishable food crops such as roots and tubers may not be stored at all, but are simply left in the ground until they are needed. Adequate on-farm storage is therefore crucial, not only to enable storage of surplus food items, but primarily to provide farmers with a food supply beyond the harvest period to ensure year-round availability of needed food for family consumption. Production could be increased to meet future needs, although consumption has been tending to decline. Women farmers in the North-West Province of Cameroon produced potatoes as a cash crop but limited their production to the estimated quantity that could be marketed before the roads were closed by the onset of the rainy season. Sweet potatoes and yams, however, exhibit a period of dormancy, and their storage life can thus be extended by curing (see Box 27). The major crop was harvested in July, but thereafter followed a two-month period of heavy rains during which time the traders did not come to the villages to buy potatoes because the tracks and roads were largely impassable.
Storage was seen as part of the post-harvest continuum, a link in the production-storage-marketing-consumption chain.
This is an inexpensive and simple domestic storage strategy, but it imposes a constraint on the effective use of land for subsequent crops and reduces the processing quality of the tubers. In Kerala, where 85 percent of India's cassava is produced, tests have shown that cassava roots, interlayered in 10-kg lots with cassava leaves, maintain their quality for four weeks.


Like other tuber crops, sweet potatoes exhibit a period of dormancy, which enables them to be stored for short periods.
The toxins, called isomeamaranol and ipomeamarone, are believed to be metabolites produced by the growth of a mould on the tubers after superficial damage to the surface layers. Such staples as cassava, cocoyams and some varieties of yams are kept either by delaying harvest until the crop is required or by storing underground in pits. For these crops, the drying stage is all-important, to reduce attack and damage from insects and fungi.
In humid areas, traditional grain cribs are ventilated structures used for both drying and storing grain. Swazi farmers produce primarily for home consumption and will sell, when they have a surplus, to deficit families in their own area. Considerable loss reduction would be achieved by earlier harvesting and drying, but a shortage of family labour precluded this. The dry grain is usually stored in solid-walled silos or bins built with local materials or cement.
Traditional crop varieties are often more resistant to storage pests than improved varieties. For small grain stores, simple improvements to make existing structures secure against rats and vermin and to facilitate the application of insecticides may be more appropriate than the construction of new, more sophisticated stores. About 65 to 70 percent (1 million tonnes) of the production was retained on the farm and the rest was handled by the National Agricultural Marketing Board. The appropriateness of the new solid-walled bins in terms of the above definition was not comprehensively demonstrated. These recommended practices are new to many small-scale Tanzanian maize growers who normally dry and store their maize on the cob in structures that have been adapted over many years to local conditions and customs and are constructed from locally available materials. Compared with the mean of 8.9 percent weight loss when spot estimates were obtained in 1984, these losses were very low.
In most areas there is full support from the administrative and political leaders, and the legislation introduced to facilitate containment and control has contributed much to the present results. Storage buildings should be built on well-drained locations and not where they will be flooded by groundwater runoff during heavy rains. The farmer should put his hand into the grain to check for heating and should also smell the grain and look for dark kernels, signs of mould, which indicate that the moisture content is rising. Cereal banks, if managed effectively, can provide a safety net, especially for poor farmers. The parastatal cereal authorities frequently only serve the interest of urban consumers and may find it almost impossible to distribute grain in times of deficit to remote villages where there are no proper roads or storage facilities. Of these, aflatoxins are produced by the moulds Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, which infect drought-stressed maize and groundnuts in the field.
Together with the hepatitis B virus, they are seen as cofactors in the high incidence of primary liver cancer in tropical Africa. Avoiding water stress, minimizing insect infestation and reducing inoculum potential are effective countermeasures, but it is often not practical for farmers with limited resources to implement them. In rural areas, individual farmers have their own storage structures in which the grains are stored. Protection from mould has become very important as a result of increased awareness of the hazards of mycotoxins to human and animal health.
Processing also serves to extend the availability of foods beyond the area and season of production, thus stabilizing supplies and increasing food security at national and household levels. Such processing, which can be done on an individual or group basis, provides employment for millions of rural people and is often one of the sources of income for rural women. Cereal and legume grains may be cleaned, graded, tempered or parboiled, dehulled and polished or split into halves. The processing may take place at a commercial level, as in the extrusion cooking of cereal-legume mixes or the production of commercial weaning foods, or at the domestic level in the preparation of family meals.
The most common preservation technique practiced at household level in the tropics is sun drying; its importance for grain storage has already been emphasized.
Reprinted with the kind permission of Butterworth-Heinemann Journals, Elsevier Science Ltd. The purpose of food preservation is to reduce the extent of deterioration by interfering with those reactions and slowing down the rate of growth of undesirable microorganisms. In order to retain as much of the vitamin content as possible, the use of solar dryers is recommended (see also Chapter 5, Box 24).
These dried, split cassava strips are an important market product in Ghana, where they are called kokonte.
The most common procedure is to harvest a few roots at a time so that they may be processed before they spoil. The sieved material is placed, a little at a time, in wide, shallow metal pots over a wood fire.
Use of hydraulic presses means that all the moisture can be expressed from the meal in a few minutes and no fermentation occurs.
A modified process, involving a rapid fermentation initiated by inoculation with a starter culture, has now been introduced to improve the acceptability of the product.
After a further period of several weeks the silo is again inspected and its contents are rearranged to give an evenly fermenting mixture.
For example, nutrients are usually distributed unevenly throughout the different parts of grains, so there is considerable nutrient loss during milling. A combination of sun and air drying is the most common technique for the preservation of meat from domesticated animals.
Lean meat, usually beef or game, removed from the larger muscles of the hindquarters, is cut along the grain into thin strips about 20 to 30 cm long and 2.5 x 4 cm in section.
Smoking of meat is often combined with drying; most cured meats are smoked to improve their flavour and appearance and to increase their storage life. Butter and buttermilk may be produced by churning ergo which has been fermented for four to five days.
A high fibre content in the diet reduces the efficiency of digestion of starches, lipids and proteins. The various nutrients are distributed unevenly throughout the different parts of the grain (germ, endosperm, seed coat and fruit coat layers, etc.), and there are also different patterns of distribution among different types of cereal grains. At harvest time they undertake the threshing, winnowing, drying, husking and shelling required to prepare the grain, and in almost all cultures they are in sole control of grain storage.
The millet or sorghum is mixed with wood ash and water; it is then left to germinate and ferment. The initial enzymatic changes, which precede germination, result in both transfer and increase of the B vitamins and, at the same time, somewhat break down the higher carbohydrates and other storage molecules such as calcium magnesium phytate. Sometimes these measures have worsened the situation of women instead of improving it, as men have taken over the labour-saving technology to make money and not only have deprived women of needed income, but also have diverted the technology from the purpose for which it was intended.
Traditionally, the processing of sorghum and millet has been carried out by grinding the whole grain in querns [hand-driven stone mills] or between stones or by pounding the grain using a pestle and mortar.
Parboiling is partial cooking which causes the starch of the kernel to gelatinize, making it tougher. In West Africa paddy is frequently parboiled in small quantities in earthenware pots or oil drums after soaking in cold water overnight. The next day the water is drained off, a little fresh water added and the pot put over a fire until all the water evaporates. In dry milling, maize is usually ground between stones or by using a small hand-powered plate mill; otherwise custom or cooperatively owned power-driven hammer or plate mills are used.
The amount of maize required for several meals is taken off the cob and transferred to a wooden mortar. The flour is again collected into the mortar and pounded in the same way as before for three or four shorter periods followed by the traditional separation of the bran. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral. An analysis of our complaints revealed that scores of pets from California to South Carolina had experienced sudden and recurring bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, and other digestive problems.
In nearly every case, we also learned the pets’ conditions improved once their owners stopped feeding them NUTRO pet food.
The claims regarding the safety of NUTRO® pet food in a recent report posted on the Pet Food Product Safety Alliance website are unfounded.
The Consumer Affairs report, while heavy on subjective qualitative experience, brings up an issue that could damage the NUTRO brand.
NUTRO would benefit from a YouTube response, or at least a more personal take on the pet owners’ plight. I think you raise some interesting points, though I’m not quite sure your analysis of our approach is necessarily complete. I see that the FDA put an official statement on its website negating the investigation, so I revised the article to indicate a rumor component. I think you raise some interesting points, though I’m not quite sure your analysis of our approach is necessarily complete. But getting important information from a chat room is not really reliable, because people can say what ever they what with out prove.
One thing we know is that when the company notice a problem with their product, all the effected products were recalled.
And anyone who see’s it differant has no business making and selling us food for them.
Such reckless manufacturing would be flat out impossible with even the most bare bones quality control. The approach seems to be along the lines of, so sorry our food killed your pet, here’s a coupon for a free shovel. An efficient post-harvest and marketing chain promotes production and distribution in accordance with consumer needs and ensures that the costs of transfer from producer to consumer are kept to a minimum.
For other crops, however, there is much potential for further technology development at the level of small- and medium-scale enterprises. A good marketing infrastructure, maintenance of rural roads and marketing services have profound effects on food availability, market prices and physical access to food at the community level.
Other crops, if they are to be marketed, may be lifted at once and transported to market in fresh condition. Measures to correct this situation can be taken in fields, households, shops and warehouses. The decline has been associated with increased urbanization, which does not favour highly perishable and labour-intensive products. The producers believed that they could not store potatoes through the rainy season when transport was impossible.
Alternatively, yams, cocoyams and cassava may be stored in underground pits after harvesting.
The village women, with no experience of successful potato storage, had no means of bridging the gap until late September or October and thus harvested and marketed potatoes in July at the low prices typical of a glut period. Initial results were encouraging; potatoes were successfully stored and marketed after the rains when prices were higher.
While women are basically responsible for processing most foods for storage, especially vegetables, men are responsible for the tasks of constructing the special storage structures for most of the staple crops.
The preservation and storage techniques in use for some selected basic staples among the 412 research sample households in 1983 are shown in Table 32.
In a study on maize losses in Swaziland, by far the greatest loss - around 15 percent - was caused by grain rotting during the field drying stage (see Box 29). For effective drying, the walls should comprise up to 40 to 50 percent open spaces, depending on the relative humidity in the drying area. Only in good years, perhaps in three years out of ten, is there any substantial surplus for sale in the organized market. The survey threw serious doubt on the usefulness of cribs when early harvesting does not take place.
As harvesting is done mainly by the women and children, the FCCS Section should reorient its extension efforts more directly to this target group. If the grain is to be used for daily consumption and is initially dry and insect free, the use of insecticides is often not cost effective or necessary, as storage time will probably not exceed six months. In eastern and southern Africa maize was introduced as a cereal crop and gained rapid acceptance. For example, paddy rice is more resistant to pests than milled rice, and under village conditions, where fumigation or airtight storage is impractical, cowpeas are better stored unthreshed, as the intact, dry pods provide some protection against bruchids. The cost-benefit analysis suggested that purely financial benefits would only be substantial in the short term to farmers who could avoid buying the equivalent of two bags of maize as a result of improved storage practices. Ventilation more or less eliminates the mould problem, but there may be superficial germination in very wet conditions. An FAO project in the United Republic of Tanzania tested two manually driven maize shellers.
Traditional post-harvest grain handling and storage practices may need to be modified to reduce damage by such pests. It can cause weight losses in farm-stored maize and dried cassava which are several times higher than losses caused by indigenous pests. The adoption of the recommendations involves small-scale farmers not only in major socio-economic changes but also in new untried (for them) practices of immediate shelling and the use of modified storage structures.
Farmers can then sell surplus food immediately after the harvest to buy household necessities, to pay children's school fees or to repay input loans for seeds and fertilizer.
In Burkina Faso, some non-governmental organizations took the initiative of creating food supply mechanisms at village level. They also infect these crops and many others, including copra, cottonseed, pepper, other cereals, nuts, oilseeds, legumes and certain dried fruits, when the crops are handled improperly and stored under inadequate conditions. Chronic low-level exposure to mycotoxins may result in serious debilitating effects, especially for malnourished individuals. Regulations on mycotoxin levels have been set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and are enforced by most importing countries.
The adoption of appropriate drying techniques, the maintenance of proper storage facilities and care not to expose the grains or oilseeds to moisture during transport and marketing can also help to reduce risks of contamination (see Box 34). First, the product to be stored should be conditioned to a stable state in which respiration of the seeds and of associated microorganisms are reduced to a minimum.
A particularly important aspect of food processing is that it permits great diet diversity, giving consumers access to a wider choice of products and hence to a better range of vitamins and minerals than they would otherwise consume. The preparation of gari, a dried fermented cassava product, in West Africa and the smoking of fish in Ghana are examples of such processes, which transform highly perishable commodities into products that can be transported long distances and stored. Figure 25 shows methods of processing for some cowpea products prepared in Nigeria as snacks for street food sale and for household consumption. Drying is also often used to preserve meat and fish, fruits, roots and tubers and green leafy vegetables.
It is most simply practiced by drying the food and reducing its water activity, as measured by relative vapour pressure.
They are a common sight drying on housetops, on small platforms, on the ground and along the edges of roads. The texture varies from coarse to fine, depending on the degree of milling and the extent of sifting. It may be further processed by roasting or frying in coconut oil to make a variety of snack foods.
After cleaning and peeling, the roots are grated on a sheet of roofing iron roughened on one side by piercing with a large nail.
It is continuously turned and stirred; a lime palm oil may be added to prevent burning, and lumpy sections of the meal are beaten to disintegrate them. The ensete is ready for use after three to four months but can also be kept for one year or more.
The effects of processing on the nutritional content of cereal grains are discussed in Box 43. The strips are rubbed with dry salt (2.5 to 4 percent) mixed with spices, including allspice, coriander, pepper and garlic.
The fluid remaining after removal of the butter is used to make a curd cheese, ayib, by gently heating it for 30 minutes. A natural red dyestuff that is extracted from sorghum leaves is used to colour the cheese, which may subsequently be further dried and smoked over the cooking fire. In addition, the phytates associated with the fibre of cereal grains may interfere with the absorption of calcium, iron and zinc. Whole grains store better than ground flour, so many rural women grind and pound small amounts of grain every day for immediate family consumption. As a result of these changes, it is possible to produce a more nutritious flour with a low fibre content. This deviation is particularly noticeable when machinery is introduced at an intermediate scale for community use. At other times, the grain is milled wet after it has been soaked and allowed to ferment slightly to improve its flavour. By remaining defensive and aligning itself with flimsy USDA standards (a la salmonella peanuts), NUTRO risks shooting itself in the foot. And still, I didn’t know about the website until after six months of complaints heard in my area stores after the website had apparently started logging them. This shows me a business that is concern about their consumer as well as the pets that use their product. Our 10 year old lab and 2 year old pom have to be chased out of the puppies dish and now all 3 have the same problem. Chrissy has started gaining ALOT of weight lately, so I decided to try something new on her, Al is fine. A basic, widely available mineral analysis, which costs on the order of $30, would easily have picked up the mineral premix problems, either on the front or back end of production. It doesn’t sound any better coming from a CEO than it does coming from some lowlife street thug. For example, there is scope for derivation of new products with market prospects from traditional crops such as sweet potato. Although in many countries central planning of production is now a thing of the past, there is still a need to orient producers on the needs of consumers.


Further research into converting starchy roots into less perishable and more convenient food products for the urban population could help reverse these trends (see also discussion of urbanization in Chapter 4).
If a bumper harvest resulted in low prices or if they were unable to get all of the crop to market, they left the surplus in the field to rot This transport constraint to increased production was overcome, to some extent, by improved storage (see Box 26). In a study in southeastern Ghana (Box 28 and Table 32), 91 percent of farmers surveyed practiced underground storage of unharvested cassava, but only 5 percent of the respondent households used this technique for yams. The project also demonstrated that the yields of the local variety of potatoes could be trebled by planting improved seeds which were readily available from the local research station at Bamui. Ayirebi farmers prepare their foodstuffs for storage in a variety of ways, foremost of which is drying. One of the recommendations to overcome this problem was to reschedule the school holiday period to enable children to assist the women in timely grain harvesting. The maximum width of the crib depends on the mean daily relative humidity; under exceptionally humid conditions the width of the structure should be reduced (see Table 33).
Swaziland already had a Food Conservation and Crop Storage Section (FCCS) in the Department of Agriculture, illustrating existing government awareness and commitment to overcoming constraints in the post-harvest sector but indicating that they had assumed losses to be most serious in storage. After the wall has been made, bulk maize is poured inside the wall and the whole structure is closed with a thatched roof.
Cow dung, which is used in the plaster of traditional silos, has insect-repellent properties. Under suitable climatic conditions and through the use of intensive cultivation techniques, it has been possible to realize much higher yields for maize than for indigenous grains such as millets and sorghum. Good husk cover can reduce field infestation in maize but only marginally reduces the rate of pest increase.
Husks must be removed because of the high moisture content, and their removal exposes grain to insect attack; insecticide treatment - dusting or spraying is therefore necessary in most localities. By pressing the maize cobs against a rotating disc with spikes on both sides, it was possible to shell two cobs simultaneously. After five months' storage, mean weight losses of 9 percent were found in maize, a much higher level than the losses of less than 1 percent which would be expected in areas of East and Central Africa that are free of larger grain borer.
The farmers' response to the extension message has varied widely, but the impact has been significantly greater in those communities in which there has been an extension push. Government inspectors, extension staff and village officials have been trained in the correct control methods. They can also purchase needed food at the lowest possible price before the harvest period when food is scarce and market prices are high. Animal studies indicate that youth and poor nutrition increase susceptibility to aflatoxins, as do certain specific vitamin and trace metal deficiencies.
Economic losses arising from the export of mycotoxin-contaminated food and feed are often very considerable. Contamination and subsequent losses are often greatest at the national level, when the capacity for bulk transportation and storage of basic grains proves inadequate to meet the needs of a centralized distribution system. This is achieved by keeping the moisture content of the grain and the ambient humidity very low. Insect control is also important since insects may cause high-moisture pockets in the stored product, create sites for mould infection by penetrating the product and carry mould spores to infection sites.
The most basic level of processing is food preservation, which in a variety of forms has been practiced by families in traditional societies for generations to provide food when sources of fresh food are scarce. Village groups, often with the support of donors and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), are now processing fruits and vegetables themselves. They can also ensure year-round availability of seasonal, perishable products and provide food in a more convenient form than the raw material. In eastern Africa, cassava flour may or may not be fermented, and it is rarely consumed alone; the normal practice is to add varying proportions of it to a cereal such as sorghum or millet. The final product is light in weight and more or less white, depending on the care with which it has been prepared.
The flour is prepared for consumption by pouring it slowly into a pot of boiling water over a fire and continuing to cook it until the mixture forms a glutinous, translucent paste. A product called mokale is prepared in this way from a mixture of cassava and groundout flour. The grated pulp is put into a cloth bag, which is tightly tied between wooden poles, and the bag is then set in the sun for the pulp to drain and to ferment.
This method produces a cream-coloured product known as white gari, which has a better nutritional value. Other leaves may be blanched or parboiled; tree leaves may also be pounded to soften them before drying.
The fermented product guedj is prepared by stacking unsold fresh fish in heaps in the open air for 24 hours. Tables 36 and 37 show the results of different extraction rates on the chemical composition of wheat flour and the influences of different processing methods on the nutrient content of milled rice. This cheese, called wagashi, is usually cut into slices, which are fried in oil and eaten with the addition of chili pepper. This consideration is particularly significant for young children who may find it difficult to digest and assimilate meals containing bulky cereal and vegetable fibres.
When porridge is prepared from ground, malted grain, it is thinner in consistency than normal porridge made with the same concentration of unmelted flour. The tasks of pounding, winnowing and grinding are often tiring, monotonous and time consuming; output is estimated at 1 to 3 kg of sorghum or millet flour per woman per hour (see Box 45). The energy content of porridge or gruel can be increased by using malted grains without a corresponding increase in its viscosity.
Box 48 shows how technological innovation in gari processing in rural Nigeria had the result of pushing women out of this economic activity altogether. Once the seed has been winnowed to remove foreign matter, it is put in a large mortar and wetted.
The toughening process makes the seed more resistant to insect attack, to shattering during husking and to the absorption of moisture from the air.
Traditional paddy parboiling techniques are slow and can only handle small quantities at a time.
In Latin America maize is partially cooked in alkaline conditions to facilitate the removal of bran before it is milled.
But instead of taking a personal approach, or sounding like they are as concerned as the pet owners in question, NUTRO is going for the sterile approach. I see that your organization has gathered an impressive number of testimonials, and that these are both objective and qualitative. I still didn’t know until May 2008 when one of my former customers brought it to my attention. Got a bag of Evo diet, (I used to feed them only Evo Red Meat, but at 90 bucks a bag, it got too expensive, GREAT food however, no affilaition), anyway, just today, with the Evo dry food, I got three can of the Nutro Chicken and rice weight management formula to mix in for Chrissy, and decided to check the web before feeding her. I say if the business is really, really big and diversified, then chances are its not too good.
The plain facts, as viewed objectively by any reasonable person, puts the lie to Nutro claims.
Inadequacies in information about demand, concerning quantity, location and product requirements, frequently lead to misallocation of resources and loss of markets.
There was little doubt that production incentives were being constrained by post-harvest factors which successful arrangements for storage and marketing would overcome.
In drying, the objective is to remove as much water from the food item as possible, thereby making it keep longer. This study demonstrates the need to appreciate fully the constraints and strategies of existing farming systems, together with the significance of involving the target communities in the selection and introduction of proposed interventions before changes are introduced. The maximum moisture content for safe storage of selected cereals and legumes ranges from 7 percent for shelled groundnuts to 15 percent for beans, with an average of about 13 percent for cereals, as shown in Table 34. As well as developing improved grain storage at both farm and cooperative levels, FCCS, with external assistance, developed an improved maize drying crib and was concentrating on introducing this to farmers. Beginning the first term in early January would still provide the required 62 to 65 days of schooling. If the platform is sufficiently high, a fire can be lit under the structure for insect control by natural fumigation.
In some areas leaves of neem (Azadirachta indica) or small quantities of palm oil or groundnut oil are added to the stored grain as an additional protection. Maize is resistant to bird damage in the field, although some improved varieties present problems in storage.
No large-scale survey of storage losses of maize had been conducted, but a limited survey carried out earlier on selected farms showed a weight loss of 13 percent.
Insecticides admixed initially tend to break down rapidly, but they can be reapplied, at least to the outside of the crib. A bevel-shaped stripping wheel provided a rotary motion to the cob, ensuring an almost complete removal of grains. Although these cereal banks were set up in marginal and deficit areas, in normal production years, the villagers - or at least some of them - had a certain surplus and others sold part of their meagre harvest because they needed cash.
In domestic markets economic losses occur at various levels, from the commodity producers to the brokers, the processors and the animal producers. Masonry bins, wooden cubicles, straw and bamboo structures, and clay containers of baked and unbaked materials are used in the developing countries. Processed products such as flour, meal and groundnut cake must be protected during storage since viable mould spores are present and if conditions are favourable for mould growth, mycotoxin may be produced. In many societies, however, and in Africa particularly in urban areas, many people now have access to more convenient commercially processed foods, and many of the traditional ways of contributing to household food security are dying out.
Where such ventures have been designed to preserve crops that would otherwise be discarded so that they can be consumed after the fresh season is over, few problems occur.
Where urban populations require processed foods in large quantities, mechanized processes with high output capacities are generally efficient and economic.
At low water activities, biochemical reactions and microbial activity are greatly restricted; extremes of pH have a similar effect, and many traditional processing methods are based on lowering the pH of the substrate, followed by heating or drying. Frequently, the surface is discoloured by fermentation and by mould infestation during the initial stage of drying. The colour of the cooked product varies from cream to greenish-brown, depending on the mould infestation. The final product, it carefully prepared, will keep for weeks or months depending on how well it is packaged. The extent of the vitamin loss depends on the pre-treatment and the temperature and duration of the drying process.
During this time some fermentation occurs because of enzymes in the fish viscera as well as bacterial contamination. The prepared strips are left for several hours for the salt coating to penetrate and are then air dried for one to two weeks, to a water content of 10 to 15 percent. The needs of young children in terms of meal composition and frequency are discussed in Chapter 7, as are beneficial aspects of fibre in adult diets. It is therefore possible to increase the energy content of malted grain porridge without making it too thick, and children can digest it more easily. The grain is subsequently washed, dried and ground to a fine flour which may be cooked with banana paste, crushed sesame seeds and sugar. It is then pounded to strip the bran or shell from the grain, followed by winnowing to remove the bran entirely. Paddy that has been parboiled has a better nutritional quality owing to the migration of nutrients towards the centre of the grain during the process. Off odour produced during prolonged steeping of the paddy in the first stage of parboiling has been a recognized problem.
This may be done by one woman working by herself or by a number of women working rhythmically together. I didn’t see any lab results in the Consumer Affairs report, nor did I see any information naming potential allergens or toxins in the food, so I chose to mention that most of the evidence is qualitative (and wrote down the wrong word). Under central planning or State purchasing arrangements the cost of such misallocation was absorbed by the government, but under a liberalized market system it is the farmer who suffers. The drying process may be conducted directly as in sun drying, where the sun's energy and the wind are utilized to evaporate water from the foodstuff, or indirectly, as in drying over a wood fire.
FAO and its Special Action Programme for the Prevention of Food Losses supported both these programmes of work and undertook detailed loss assessment of the proposed interventions. The term should end in early April thereby releasing the children to assist their mothers with harvesting and storage.
Some high-yielding varieties have a larger cob which is less tightly bound by its sheath than the cob of the original introductions. The problem of storage loss was conceived to have increased with the introduction of hybrid maize varieties which are highly susceptible to insect attack in storage.
However, the manually driven shellers were not effective enough for village-level operations. The cereal banks ensured that cereals offered for sale did not actually leave the village, and savings were made on the cost of transport since cereals were purchased in the place where they were stored and distributed. A speculated causal relationship between aflatoxin intake and the development of symptoms of kwashiorkor in malnourished children remains unproved despite considerable supportive information (Hendrickse, 1988).
For commercial purposes, storage structures may be silo-like elevators, large-scale bulk storage warehouses or bag-storage go-downs.
Widely dispersed populations, on the other hand, may be better served by smaller-scale technologies. Drainage is slow, and it is necessary to leave the grated roots under pressure for three or four days. Pounding and winnowing are repeated several times before a good-quality milled seed is obtained. In addition, the alkali treatment liberates niacin from its bound form, niacytin, thus improving its big-availability and reducing the risk of niacin deficiency disease (pellagra) in maize-based diets.] Where very small quantities are needed, the wet maize may be ground at home using a saddle stone or similar device.
I think that Mars could handle the situation in a more accommodating, consumer-friendly manner, especially since pets are involved. The greater availability of market information should permit farmers to make more informed decisions about what and when to plant.
Early harvesting would also enable the cultivation of a second crop since the winter rains are generally sufficient for quick growing leguminous crops".
FAO and the Special Action Programme for the Prevention of Food Losses trained extension workers and organized a series of demonstrations on how to build and use improved solid-walled bins (ferrumbu) which had been locally developed and tested for their technical performance but mainly under research station conditions.
The capital cost of such improved cribs is low to moderate, depending on the materials chosen.
Instead, small-scale farmers preferred to use hired labour to shell by hand, which proved to be more cost effective.
Naturally, there had to be some organization, some storage infrastructure (small warehouses) and financial resources for the stocks, and villagers had to be trained to take over these new responsibilities. Food processing industries may be concentrated in urban centres or spread among rural communities where they offer the twin advantages of processing perishable crops and animal products close to their source and providing income for rural people.
As a result, a certain amount of fermentation and souring takes place, which gives the product its characteristic flavour. Some surface spoilage may occur by contamination with moulds and yeasts, but aflatoxin production is not a problem as the water activity is too low for the development of Aspergillus flavus.
The milled seed is then washed with water to remove any small pieces of bran and soaked in water for 24 hours to condition or temper it.
More commonly today, hand- or power-driven plate mills are used either to break the grain roughly or to mill it further to a smoother paste. Other companies have done this in the past–Kryptonite, a bike-lock maker, comes to mind. And remember that some people would say negative thing about a company, so that people stop buying one brand and change to another. Thus the better loss assessment surveys, which broadened their scope to look at the whole post-harvest system, provided the justification for a more radical imaginative approach to the reduction of post-harvest losses.
High-yielding hybrid maize is much more susceptible to insect attack, which leads to higher storage losses in these traditional structures. FAO's Special Action Programme for the Prevention of Food Losses was closely involved in these aspects and simultaneously encouraged the prevention of losses from the cereal banks through improved storage and handling techniques.
This is followed by drying to the correct moisture content and then regrinding with a pestle and mortar.
When someone discovered it’s possible to open a U-lock with a Bic pen, the company invented a new lock in one week, then sent concerned U-lock owners the new model for free.
In a cost-benefit analysis in Zambia, the potential of building improved solid-walled bins to store the new grain varieties proved unconvincing (see Box 30). Cooperative activities may provide one of several alternative channels through which post-harvest information can be extended to clients.
Finally, the partially fermented fish is spread on straw for two to four days to dry in the sun and wind. Thus the nutritional benefit to poor consumers of the introduction of high-yielding varieties is not a straightforward issue of increased yields.
Very likely, individuals will have an incentive to improve post-harvest methods in their own home.
The flour obtained contains a large proportion of the oil-rich germ and the nutrients of the grain. I acknowledge that Mars claims there’s nothing wrong, so the situation is slightly different, but the volume of evidence indicates that a more hands-on approach would help. Grains are moistened to facilitate the removal of the bran, but this can result in a slightly fermented flour. Although the keeping quality of this type of flour may be diminished because of femmentation, the resulting flour has a modified flavour which is often considered desirable. In the first stage, the bran and pigmented layers are removed, and in the second stage the grain is pounded progressively with intermittent sieving into flour suitable for various end products.



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