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Rice storage contractor uses own patented tech to defend against infestation

SINGAPORE – Singapore Storage & Warehouse, one of the main rice stockpile contractors here, said on Wednesday that it is aiming to ramp up use of its patented technology to prevent infestations of insects such as weevils.

The company does not use traditional methyl bromide fumigation at its Pasir Panjang warehouse, but instead relies on technology it has developed locally in the last three years to control the atmospheric composition surrounding the rice that it stores.

The process is reminiscent of that for retail food packaging. With the Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) box technology – which was first deployed in 2019 and subsequently fine-tuned – rice bags are placed on a pallet and covered with customised casing to form an enclosed box.

Oxygen is then extracted from the box while inert gas is concurrently pumped in, to keep the oxygen levels low. Pests such as adult weevils cannot survive in these conditions.

Each box can store about half a tonne of rice.

Over half of the more than 20,000 pallets in the company’s rice storage warehouse are now enclosed in MAP boxes.

Singapore Storage & Warehouse chief executive Ong Swee Keong said during a tour of the facility on Wednesday that if the integrity of the air mixture in the MAP box is not compromised, the rice can be stored for up to a year.