Initial Moisture Content of Corncobs Plays an Important Role in Maintaining its Quality during Storage

Lince Mukkun(1*), Herianus J.D. Lalel(2), Yuliana Tandirubak(3)

(1) Agro-technology Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nusa Cendana Jl. Adi Sucipto, Penfui, Kupang, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Kode Pos 85100
(2) Agro-technology Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nusa Cendana Jl. Adi Sucipto, Penfui, Kupang, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Kode Pos 85100
(3) Agro-technology Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nusa Cendana Jl. Adi Sucipto, Penfui, Kupang, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Kode Pos 85100
(*) Corresponding Author


Maize is one of the important staple foods for people in Timor, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. Subsistent farmers store the maize for their own consumption until the next harvest season, for seed and feed.  However, high initial water content of the kernel due to improper drying prior storage initiate serious damage and losses during the maize storage.  High water content promotes the growth of fungi and insects, and increase respiration rate, resulting in rapid deterioration of maize. The purpose of this study was to determine the initial moisture content that might minimize damage and losses of maize in the farmers’ storage, and to study the effects of some plant materials that are used to smoke corns before storage. The experiment was initiated by sun-drying the harvested corncobs for 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 days (6 hours a day). This experiment was designed using Completely Randomized Design with 6 treatments and 3 replications. Dried corncobs were stored in the farmer’s storage for 4 months. The effects of maize kernels’ initial water content on the development of water content in kernels; the percentage of damaged kernels; and the species of pathogen and insects were investigated during storage with 2-week intervals.  The results demonstrated that drying the corncobs prior storage for 10 days, resulting in 12.96% of water content, significantly decreased the percentage of seed damage to 6.5%, as compared to without drying process which resulted  in 63%.  Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium sp., and Penicillium sp were found to be the main pathogen during storage.  There are no insect pests found during the storage. 


Aspergillus flavus; insect pest; maize postharvest; moisture content; percentage of damage

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