Research has shown that compared to other packaging and storage facilities, polyvinyl plastic containers (PPC) and dark compartment storage have the highest retention of Pro-vitamin A carotenoid (pVAC) and xanthophylls in yellow-seeded maize.
Pro-vitamin A carotenoid (pVAC) foods contribute to the reduction of
vitamin A deficiency diseases within the human body. Yellow-seeded maize
flour, being a pVAC-rich food, needs the right packaging materials and
storage conditions that retain pVAC as it is essential for health
Traditionally, maize flour is stored in different packaging materials
to increase its shelf life. For this reason, research has been carried
out to investigate the effect of storage packaging materials such as
polypropylene woven sacks (PWS), high-density polyethylene bags (HDPE),
polyvinyl plastic containers (PPC), and storage condition associated
with temperature and relative humidity, in retaining pVAC in yellow-seed
In achieving the above, a sample of yellow-maize grains was collected
from the Maize Improvement Program of IITA, Ibadan, ground into flour,
divided into portions, packed and sealed in PWS, HDPE, and PPC. Some of
the packed samples were stored in an upper compartment of a storage
wooden box, lightened with aluminum foil and fitted with fluorescent
tube to increase the light intensity; others were in the lower
compartment darkened with gloss black. The flour samples were stored for
28 days, while samples were collected for pVAC and xanthophylls
analyses at 7-day intervals using standard methods.
The outcome demonstrated how PPC packaging and dark compartment
storage resulted in the highest pVAC of 92.39% and xanthophylls, 89.44%
retention and retinol equivalent (RE) (0.40 µg/g), while HDPE packaging
and lighted compartment storage resulted in the lowest pVAC of 44.92%
and xanthophylls, 46.76% retention and RE (0.19 µg/g). In line with
this, PPC packaging and dark compartment storage is recommended for
maximum retention of carotenoids in yellow-seeded maize flour.
Within a lush and humid valley in the state of Nayarit on
Mexico’s Pacific coast, a giant resides. The local maize landrace, named ‘Jala’
after the valley in which it grows, produces the biggest maize ears in the
world. Its plants grow to such a height the only way to harvest the ears is on
horseback. However, despite its vigor and size, the survival of this landrace
is at risk as its genetic diversity fades and young people who might carry on
growing traditions leave the rural land looking for a better life.
A new maize festival, launched in December 2018 aims to improve this remarkable landrace’s future by encouraging farmers to protect its genetic potential and creating a space for young people to have their views heard. The festival is a collaboration between Denise Costich, head of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) maize gene bank, Carolina Camacho of CIMMYT’s socioeconomics program, Victor Vidal of INIFAP-Nayarit and local partners including Gilberto Gonzalez, Ricardo Cambero, Alondra Maldonado, Ismael Elias, Renato Olmedo (CIMMYT), and Miguel Gonzalez Lomelí. Meanwhile, CIMMYT researchers are studying the landrace’s genetic diversity with hopes of preserving its quality and working with farmers to safeguard its future. Research is also exploring the challenges around creating an enabling environment that will allow improved livelihoods through leveraging the merits of the local landrace maize.
Nominations are now open for the 2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards – Africa! These awards are part of the efforts that the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE) is undertaking to promote youth participation in maize based agri-food systems. These awards recognize the contributions of young women and men below 35 years of age who are implementing innovations in African maize-based agri-food systems, including research-for-development, seed systems, agribusiness, and sustainable intensification.
Maize is the most important staple food crop in sub-Saharan
Africa, providing food security and a source of income to more than 200 million
households. Nonetheless, maize yields in this region rank among the lowest worldwide.
The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
(CIMMYT) launched the International Maize Improvement Consortium for Africa
(IMIC-Africa) in May 2018, to better engage with a committed set of partners
from the public and private sector, and to achieve enhanced maize yields in
Members of IMIC-Africa share a vision: meeting the
challenges of maize production by scaling out and fully exploiting the
potential of improved climate-resilient and stress-tolerant varieties in sub-Saharan