Posts Tagged ‘Maize’

IITA scientists recommend packaging and storage for yellow-seeded maize flour

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 benefits.

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 maize flour.

Yellow-seeded maize flour. Photo:

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.

The article can be found here: Impact of packaging material and storage condition on retention of provitamin A carotenoids and xanthophylls in yellow-seeded maize flour. Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2018 by Awoyale W., Alamu E.O., Maziya-Dixon B., Menkir A., Irondi, E.A.

This article originally appeared here on the IITA website:

Community-led conservation: saving a giant landrace

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.

Call for Nominees for the 2019 Maize Youth Innovators Awards – Africa

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.

International Maize Improvement Consortium for Africa ramps up seed innovations

by Carolyn Cowan

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 Africa.

Group photo during the IMIC-Africa inception workshop in Harare, Zimbabwe, in May 2018. (Photo: CIMMYT)

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 Africa.