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Maize grain stored in hermetic bags: effect of moisture and pest infestation on grain quality

Author: Likhayo, P.
Author: Bruce, A.Y.
Author: Tadele Tefera
Author: Mueke, J.
Year: 2018
ISSN: ISSN: 0146-9428
ISSN: ESSN: 1745-4557
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10883/19950
Abstract: Maize (Zea mays) is an important staple food crop produced by the majority of smallholder farmers that provides household food security through direct consumption and income generation. However, postharvest grain losses caused by insect pests during storage pose a major constraint to household food security. Hermetic storage technology is an alternative method that minimises postharvest losses by depleting oxygen and increasing carbon dioxide levels within the storage container through metabolic respiration of the grains, insects, and microorganism. Maize grain was stored for 180 days in hermetic bags or open-weave polypropylene bags to compare quality preservation when subject to initial grain moisture contents of 12, 14, 16, and 18 percent and infestation by Sitophilus zeamais. e moisture content of grain in hermetic bags remained unchanged while in polypropylene bags decreased. Dry grains (12% moisture content) stored well in hermetic bags and su ered 1.2% weight loss while for equivalent grains in polypropylene bags the weight loss was 35.8%. Moist grains (18% moisture content) recorded the lowest insect density (7 adults/kg grain) in hermetic bags while polypropylene bags had the highest (1273 adults/kg grain). Hermetic and polypropylene bags recorded the lowest (0–4 adults/kg grain) and highest (16–41 adults/kg grain) Prostephanus truncatus population, respectively. Discoloured grains were 4, 6, and 12 times more in grains at 14, 16, and 18 than 12 percent moisture content in hermetic bags. Grains at 18% moisture content recorded signicantly lower oxygen (10.2%) and higher carbon dioxide (18.9%) levels. Holes made by P. truncatus in the hermetic bags were observed. In conclusion, storage of moist grains (14–18% moisture content) in hermetic bags may pose health risk due to grain discolouration caused by fungal growth that produces mycotoxins if the grains enter the food chain. e study was on only one site which was hot and dry and further investigation under cool, hot, and humid conditions is required.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
Issue: art. 2515698
Volume: 2018
DOI: 10.1155/2018/2515698
Agrovoc: MAIZE
Agrovoc: PEST CONTROL
Agrovoc: GRAIN
Agrovoc: SEED MOISTURE CONTENT
Journal: Journal of Food Quality


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  • Maize
    Maize breeding, phytopathology, entomology, physiology, quality, and biotech

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