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Software programmes for the four parts of the DSS dedicated to stored malting barley quality management

Software programmes for the four parts of the DSS dedicated to stored malting barley quality management:
- The Grain Quality assessment module;

- The storage scenarios planification module;

- The explanation module about the advised storage routes, and

- The GUI condition monitor module.

"Quality of stored grain (QualiGrain): building up a decision support system for management and control of quality of malting barley"

A prototype of a decision support system based on expert knowledge input, running on Windows on a PC, was developed. This computerised system is a new tool, which should facilitate the transfer of technical and scientific knowledge about stored malting barley quality management to the storekeepers. The prototype DSS supports the user for the choice of optimal storage itineraries (the safest storage route).

The reasoning process is based on quality change prediction during storage. It includes four phases:
- Assessment of initial quality level of the grain;

- Planning the safest storage route;

- Permanent monitoring of grain condition in using specifically adapted equipments (acoustic probes, temperature/relativehumidity probes, remote aeration control);

- Re-planning the storage route when a deviation from the predicted condition occurs.

The reliability of the advice afforded by the DSS has been validated by storage specialists before and after pilot-scale experiments carried out in different European countries.

No computer-assisted tool for whole quality management of stored grain did exist before QualiGrain EU Project started.

Two important and original results were obtained in this domain during the project:
- A computer assisted DSS for quality - assessment, -prevision of changes, and -monitoring;

- A knowledge representation on the changes of all quality characteristics together of malting barley (the whole grain bulk excosystem modelling).

In its actual shape, the DSS software protoype can be easily used by any grain storage manager having a PC at his disposal for training and demonstration. This copyrighted software is available for further development (e.g. by a software releaser). Among the modifications to be introduced in a commercial software, some improvements for a more friendliness presentation of the outputs on the GUI interface are necessary (most of them are simplifications and shortening).

The market sector interested in the use of this PC-assisted DSS is the industry of grain and pulse seeds storage and handling sector. The first-processing industries of cereals and pulses should also be potential users.

After the modifications required transforming it into a commercial product, this software should be of interest for software releasers of the agricultural and agro-food industry sector.

Technical extension services in cereal production and storage industries may use it for training grain store managers or for the enforcement of good storage practices following HACCP guidelines.

Related information

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