Stored product protection plays a central role in the context of food security and maintaining food quality worldwide. In Germany, applied research for stored product protection is currently done exclusively at JKI in Berlin. Here the research area is focused on environmentally friendly methods for preventing, early detection and control of harmful storage insects. The research on storage protection is not restricted to Germany and Europe, but contributes also to improving the conditions in developing/emerging countries, where high post-harvest losses are still a daily occurrence.
As part of JKI’s research, the Institute verifies that existing methods are effective or need to be adapted to the requirements of modern warehouse management. To prevent potential resistance to existing plant protection products (PPP), alternative control methods are developed and strategies for resistance management of PPPs are recommended.
Studies on storage pest biology aim at gaining new knowledge on the interaction between pests and plant products as a basis for new control methods. The Institute maintains one of the world's most important laboratory rearing of harmful storage insects. These insects are demanded worldwide as reference animals.
To avoid infestations, techniques for pest-proof storage are investigated. This includes a corresponding structural design of storage and processing areas, but also the optimization of the packaging protection, such as hermetic packaging or packaging under protective gas and vacuum. Even low-oxygen gases (e.g. nitrogen and carbon dioxide) are the subject of the investigations.
Research on purpose-made traps for acoustic or optical detection of pests, and on temperature increase in bulks of stored products aims to improve the early detection of pests. To control storage pests the following techniques are presently under investigation:
As part of the sovereign functions at the JKI, this research area is responsible for the scientific evaluation of the effectiveness of PPPs against storage pests. This scientific evaluation includes the biological activity against pests and impacts on the quality of plant products and their processing, the risk of resistance and the establishment of appropriate management measures, and in some cases a benefit/risk assessment. This evaluation and the agreement of the JKI are the basis for the establishment of registered uses in the storage sector by the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL). Due to the very special expertise on storage pests, the Institute is involved in the approval process of biocidal products by the Federal Office for Chemicals. This happens in form of a scientific report.