Journal of
Stored Products and Postharvest Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Stored Prod. Postharvest Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6567
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSPPR
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 156

Full Length Research Paper

Hermetic storage of maize grain in repurposed food oil containers to control maize weevils

Thomas J. Brumm
  • Thomas J. Brumm
  • Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA.
  • Google Scholar
Carl J. Bern
  • Carl J. Bern
  • Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA.
  • Google Scholar
David F. Webber
  • David F. Webber
  • Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 11 May 2021
  •  Accepted: 02 August 2021
  •  Published: 30 September 2021

Abstract

Insect-related grain loss is a significant problem in Uganda and other countries in sub Saharan Africa. The maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky) is one of the major insect pests that infests stored maize grain (Zea mays Linneaus). This study demonstrates the feasibility of hermetic or “air-tight” storage for protecting maize from maize weevil damage using low-cost repurposed food oil containers. Maize infested with weevils was obtained from a local market in Kamuli, Uganda. Quality characteristics determined before storage included live weevil numbers, moisture content, and kernel damage. Storage treatments, each done in triplicate in 10-L containers, included (1) hermetically sealed and (2) non-hermetically sealed maize grain. After 30 days of storage, 100% mortality of maize weevils was achieved in treatment (1), while the number of weevils increased by nearly a factor of three in treatment (2). Although, there were no significant differences between treatments in final moisture content, test weight, and damage, broken corn and foreign material was significantly higher in treatment (2) versus (1). This 30-day study using an experimental design with up to three replicated treatments demonstrated that repurposed food oil containers can be effectively used for hermetic storage of maize.

Key words: Grain quality, moisture, test weight, damage, broken corn and foreign material, postharvest losses (PHLs), hermetic storage, sub-Saharan, Uganda, Africa.