The safe long-term storage of chamomile flowers and herbs for several months requires the following storage conditions:
Moisture content of stored product: 8-10% Relative humidity of ambient air: <50% Room temperature: 4-15°C Lighting: Largely in a darkened room Stock pests: Free from living larvae and insects
Given these conditions, almost all the quality deteriorations described in the previous section could be prevented or reduced. particular efforts are required to control the occurrence of harmful insects. Basically, the entry of such pests should be prevented by permanently covering all window, wall, and ventilation openings with fine-mesh wire netting (1-2 mm mesh width). All doors and gates should be kept automatically closed. The continuous operation of electrical UV insect traps in the storage room is even more effective; these will have the prophylactic effect of attracting all insects flying in and killing them with the current. Pheromone traps installed in storage rooms are good indicators of the presence of pests. If the occurrence of pests is detected in the store, disinfestation must be carried out immediately. All the dry crops stored in the room must be subjected to a C02 compressed gas disinfestation, since this is the most effective and most suitable method. In this process (e.g., Carvex and Pex), the drugs affected are first subjected in an autoclave to evacuation to 200 mbar (reducing the oxygen content) and then, through the addition of C02 gas, an atmosphere of 18-40 bar is created. Within a period of 150 min., complete destruction of all development stages of the pests is achieved . The process has the advantage that the drugs can be left in their original packaging, the treatment can be carried out at normal outside temperatures, and, in contrast to chemical processes, there are no problematic residues.
Pyrethrum preparations have proved successful for the disinfestation of storage areas.
One of the basic problems with storing drugs is the considerable space requirement due to the low bulk density of the stored product. Nonetheless, a clear, permanently accessible layout of the individual batches in the storage room must be guaranteed so that quality can be constantly monitored [6, 13].
The stored product must be regularly inspected to determine:
• Its water content (percentage of water in the product)
• Its external quality traits
• Whether it is infested with stock pests
• The level of value-determining active ingredients by chemical analyses
These checks including the analyses must be carried out or repeated every 4 to 6 months. Only in this way can the drugs' minimum content requirements for the proposed usage be complied with.
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