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I am trying to use my seeds in fruits, but when I store them they become very soon full of insects. Because I do not get a lot of seeds at once, I am not going to dry individual seeds in oven.

What is the best way to store the seeds? Could I freeze them?

Related question about eating seeds: Are seeds in melons and other fruits good to eat?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The rules are the same as keeping rice, beans, or lentils: keep them in a container that the insects can't chew through, and do not allow them access. This means glass, thick plastic (not a bag), or metal. I would do my best to dry off the seeds to prevent mold growth, beforehand. Even laying them on a paper towel for 15-20 minutes should help.

If you have problems with mold, try using something like a canning jar and use fine cloth in place of the lid. It should keep bugs out and allow moisture to escape.

Refrigeration will greatly extend the life of your seeds; if bugs do not have a chance to lay eggs on them, and the seeds are sufficiently dry to prevent mold, they should refrigerate for months.

Freezing is also good idea, as this will kill any bug larvae and prevent microbial spoilage; I'd try freezing a small batch of seeds first to make sure the moisture doesn't split them open.

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I worked at a grocery store for about 7 years and the number one rule when it came to bugs and weavels in the flour, seeds, rice, etc... was always the freezer. Very much to @BobMcGee's point, I would try a small amount to make sure the freezer doesn't affect them (but for most varieties, I think you're safe)

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Seeds, grains and flours, being natural products, come with some natural flora (mold spores etc.) and fauna (eggs of insects). While they are cleaned fairly thoroughly, they are not usually sterilized. The eggs of the insects will hatch and become the 'mealy bugs' we find in our cornmeal, rice, flour etc. above about 17 degrees C/65 degrees F. Keeping these products in a tight container, in a bottom cabinet (is cooler down low), away from sources of heat and moisture, will help suppress the insect eggs existent from hatching and keep invading insects out.

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Extending the point made by @BobMcGee & @Rikon I would direct your attention to the "Svalbard Global Seed Vault" a "doomsday" storage facility buried deep in the frozen mountains of Norway. As National Geographic points out this facility maintains significant samples of as many seeds as possible by freezing them for safe keeping. While I don't subscribe to many of the doomsday scenerios they use to justify this facility, I do not doubt that the science they rely on to store the seeds, −18 °C (0 °F). I would put them in a zip lock bag or mason jar and tuck that away in a deep freeze.

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