One of the general issues with food is the activities of Microorganisms that eventually lead to spoilage. Molds, for example, are not mysterious growths but are caused by the presence of Microorganisms and excessive water which can, in turn, lead to post-harvest loses especially in developing countries. This is why drying of farm produce or items such as seeds are encouraged. Drying can be done using air, Oven, and Sunlight.
There are several moisture indicators available, and each cost varies. But there is a low cost, low maintenance indicator card known as Dry card which is an initiative of a group of Researchers from the University of California, Davis, USA
How it works:
The DryCard incorporates a cobalt chloride humidity indicator strip that changes color depending on the level of relative humidity. In an airtight container, the relative humidity of the air around a product reflects the dryness of the product (this concept is called equilibrium relative humidity).
To use, place the DryCard and a sample of the dried product in an airtight container, such as a sealed plastic bag or a jar. After a brief wait, the card indicator will display a measure of the equilibrium relative humidity. Match the color of the strip with the scale on the card. If the indicator strip turns pink, then the product is too wet for safe storage. If the piece turns blue or grey, then the product is adequately dried. Store the card in a plastic bag to prevent contact with water. If cared for properly, the DryCard can be reused many times.
Advantages of this dry card:
• It is cheap and effective
• All participants in the dry chain can more confidently store, exchange, and consume dried products.
• Farmers maintain the quality and quantity of goods, allowing them to sell more product at higher prices.
• Consumers have increased access to safer, better tasting dried foods.
At Agropreneurng, we have some samples to give to farmers and Agropreneurs based in Ibadan, Oyo State that are willing to take a step further in ensuring produce do not go to waste. You can request by dropping a comment in the comment section