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Storage and electronic mold odor detection of winter canola seed with safety implications for quality loss

Moore, Kevin Gerald
Winter canola has seen increasing adoption as a rotational crop with small cereal grains in the southern United States. Considerable effort has been devoted to the development of new canola varieties suited to this region, but less effort has been placed on understanding issues related to post-harvest storage and handling of the crop. This study investigates three such issues. First, lining the inside of unaerated grain bins with polyethylene material in an attempt to improve storage quality in secondary storage facilities. There was not a significant difference between canola seed stored with and without the liner. If low quality grain bins must be used for short-term storage, the bottom of the bin can be lined with grain bag material for the purpose of sealing and moisture exclusion. Second, the development of a low-cost electronic nose capable of detecting mold in stored canola seed. This device was able to classify canola seed as moldy or clean with a 3% error rate. Third, measurement of the pressure on the torso of a grain entrapment victim in canola, corn, soybeans, and wheat to provide information to first responders and health professionals in the event of a grain storage accident. This pressure was found to range from 1.6 to 4.0 kPa (0.23 to 0.57 psi). This does not appear sufficient to limit respiration in an otherwise healthy adult male.