Every Indian home stores rice and other whole grains for long-term use. However, small storing mistakes can lead to the grains spoiling or getting contaminated. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts you need to keep your grain stores safe.
Is there any Indian family that doesn’t stock up on essential whole grains like rice and lentils? Of course not! Whether you live a bachelor’s life, in a nuclear family or in a joint one, stocking up on rice and other grains is critical. This is not only because these ingredients form the very basis of all our meals, but also because these come cheap when bought in higher quantities. What’s more, Indians have mastered the art of storing rice and grains for the whole year in large drums and containers.
So, there is no dearth of hacks and tricks we need to keep our rice and grains fresh and bug-free for up to a year. However, despite our best instincts, we often make small mistakes that lead to bug infestations and the spoiling of rice well before its time. The Indian Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has therefore come up with recommendations you need to keep your rice stores at home safe and sound.
Here are all the do’s and don’ts you need to know about storing rice and other grains safely.
Do’s Of Rice & Whole Grains Storage
1. Rice and whole grains must always be stored in room temperature, and the humidity levels should not be higher than 14%. Meaning that the area where you store the grains should be dry and cool (not cold).
2. The grains should be packed in clean containers. If you are reusing an old container, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and dried completely before shifting the grains into them.
3. The storage container, whether big or small, must have only one opening to prevent insect, pest or other contaminants from gaining access. So, ensure the container is devoid of any holes, cracks or leaks.
4. The container’s opening must be sealed with a dry material to minimize exposure to outside contaminants whenever you open them. This can be a soft, clean mesh cloth, a large, dry foil, or clean clingfilm.
5. If you feel some moisture has entered the container, you can take the grains out in a large, clean container and keep in out in the sunlight to dry out. This process will also disinfect the grains further. Once the container is cleaned and dried again, you can place the grains back in them.
Ingredients You Can Add To The Grains
There are a number of ingredients that Indians have used for ages to keep rice and other whole grains, dry, pest-free and safe for consumption. This advice is passed down the generations and is quite reliable. Here are ingredients you can add to rice and whole grain containers to increase their safety and longevity:
• Dry bay leaves
• Neem leaves and whole branches
Don’t Of Rice & Whole Grains Storage
1. Never store rice and whole grains in open, humid or moist areas of your home and kitchen.
2. Do not store any whole grains in woven bamboo or straw baskets.
3. Do not use or reuse the grain containers without cleaning or disinfecting them.