An airtight or sealed storage is termed as “hermetic storage” or “sacrificial sealed storage”. The method enables insects and other aerobic organisms in the commodity or the commodity itself to generate the modified atmosphere by reducing oxygen (O2) and increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations through respiratory metabolism. Respiration activity of the living organisms creates an atmosphere containing about 1-2% oxygen and about 20% carbon dioxide.
Insect control success due to the hermetic storage treatments is comparable to conventional fumigants (over 99.9% kill), and losses due to insect activity are minimal (0.15% loss in weight for a storage period of 15 months). Low O2 and high CO2 environment kills insect and mite pests, and prevents aerobic fungi from growing. Elevated CO2 and depleted O2 levels will generally maintain stored grain quality for long period of time. Commodities including cereals, oilseed grains, pulses, cocoa and coffee can be stored safely for many months, maintaining high quality and limiting mould and mycotoxins.