Principles of Cereal Science and Technology, Third Edition
Although grain is generally harvested once or, in some areas of the tropics, twice a year, it is consumed throughout the year. Therefore, practically all grain must be stored. The cereal grains are, in general, amenable to storage for relatively long periods of time. They are usually harvested at relatively low moisture content and, when stored out of the weather and protected from insects and rodents, easily keep for several years. Under ideal storage conditions (low temperature, inert atmosphere, etc.), safe storage may be measured in decades.
Throughout history, the cereal grains have given humans a buffer against crop failure and starvation. In comparison with such foods as dairy products, meats, and fresh vegetables, cereals are relatively easy to store. However, they can go “out of condition” if storage conditions are not proper. In the past, and indeed, even today in some parts of the world, such loss of cereal stores has led to starvation. We here focus on the main aspects that should be taken into account when storing cereal grains.