Advances in Grain Respiration Detection

A Grain Fungal Spoilage Test

Measure Grain Spoilage Before You See The Mold.

The incredible conundrum of grain production is that even while you can’t see it, micro-organisms are at work spoiling your hard-earned efforts, creating grain spoilage and loss that’s hard to recoup. The Solvita® Fungal Spoilage Test for grain gives you the tools to change all that, by detecting mold even before it’s visible – it’s like an early warning signal for fungal activity. This revolutionary grain spoilage test measures grain respiration, a unique measurement that helps predict spoilage before it happens.

Grain storage studies have shown that testing grain respiration – the release of carbon dioxide (CO2 from incubated grain) – can accurately predict the remaining grain storage life and the grain’s susceptibility to spoilage. Solvita® combines these findings with modern technology in a reliable, simple-to-use process that you can perform quickly and economically. It can monitor and alert you to unusually high fungal spoilage.

Grain Respiration

Use the Solvita® Grain Respiration Test to:

  • Reduce the likelihood of harmful spoilage of grain
  • Predict the storage life remaining at current conditions
  • Detect spoilage
  • Measure the extent of spoilage
  • Identify where spoilage occurs so grain can be quickly used
  • Evaluate the quality of on-farm grain storage
  • Test with no extra lab equipment required
  • Provide information to develop an effective grain management strategy

Grain Respiration Testing
In early stages of grain spoilage (left) you may not be able to see mold, but enhanced CO2-respiration will be evident – and the Solvita® grain test will detect it. By mid term spoilage (center) grain dry matter loss has exceeded 0.5%. Terminal spoilage (right) follows quickly, and the grain will be a total loss.

At all points of the grain process – pre-harvest, harvest, storage, processing and export, the Solvita® grain test gives you valuable info on spoilage potential to help you leverage your grain for maximum value:

  • Measure fungal levels in the field
  • Check grain at harvest
  • Test stored grain for signs of spoilage
  • Determine grain suitability for export – test loaded rail cars or barges

Publications Demonstrating Solvita® Grain Storage Test



Study Period


Iowa State University 2015 Physical and Chemical Properties of Whole Stillage, Thin Stillage and Syrup, Presentation at the 2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting, New Orleans, July 26-29, 2015
Purdue University 2015 The Effect of Storage Temperature and Percentage of Condensed Distillers Solubles on the Shelf-Life of Distillers Wet Grains Stored Aerobically, Ileleji, K.E.; McClurkin, J.D., Journal of Stored Products Research,, request by email
Woods End Laboratories 2002-2013 Research Summary; Solvita CO2 Test Kit to Detect Grain Fungal Spoilage, Woods End Laboratories, 2013.
Purdue University 2008-2010 Fungal Susceptibility at Four Temperature-Moisture Combinations and Carbon Dioxide Kit Color Reader Evaluation, Moog, D.J.P. et al, Journal of Cereal Chemistry, 2010: 87(3):182–189, 2010, doi:10.1094/CCHEM-87-3-0182
Purdue University 2007-2008 Relationship of Shelled Corn Fungal Susceptibility to Carbon Dioxide Evolution and Kernel Attributes, Strohshine, R.L. et al, Journal of Cereal Chemistry, 2008: 85(1):19–26, doi:10.1094 / CCHEM-85-1-0019
Iowa State University 2006-2007 Quantifying Corn Deterioration Due to Fungal Growth by Use of CO2-Sensitive Gel, Bern C.J. et al, Journal of Applied Engineering in Agriculture, Vol. 22(1): 81-86, 2006, doi: 10.13031/2013.20174
Purdue University 2002-2006 NC213 Reports; Ph.D. Thesis
Titus Grain Inspection Service 2006-2008 Refinement of spreadsheet predictor for 0.5% dry matter loss (one grade debit) due to fungal spoilage