19 July 2002

Find out whats in grain preservatives

CHECK grain preservatives to ensure they contain sufficient active ingredients, to avoid ending up with mouldy cereals, warns feed supplement manufacturer Frank Wright.

Propionic acid offers effective protection from mould in crimped, crushed or dry whole grain, yet most manufacturers fail to state the concentration of acid in their products, says the companys technical manager Paul Blanchard.

"As a rule of thumb, it takes 2kg of propionic acid a tonne to inibit moulds. The lower the concentration of acid, the more product must be applied to ensure effective preservation.

"However, many products are labelled as containing a mixture or blend of acids, which is no help to producers trying to determine whether a product will be effective or offers value for money."

Look for a minimum content of 99% propionic acid in unbuffered products and 92% where acid has been buffered, advises Dr Blanchard. &#42