The dry chain: Reducing postharvest losses and improving food safety in humid climates
Even as increasing populations put pressure on food supplies, about one-third of the total food produced for human consumption is wasted, with the majority of loss in developing countries occurring between harvest and the consumer. Controlling product dryness is the most critical factor for maintaining quality in stored non-perishable foods. The high relative humidity prevalent in humid climates elevates the moisture content of dried commodities stored in porous woven bags, enabling fungal and insect infestations. Mycotoxins (e.g., aflatoxin) produced by fungi in insufficiently dried food commodities affect 4.5 billion people worldwide.