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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Microbial census and evidence for a direct temporal effect of bale moisture on color grade during six months of storage

Authors
item Chun, David
item Mcalister, Iii, David - USTER TECHNOLOGIES, INC
item Hughs, Sidney
item Cobb, Dean - INSTITUTE OF TEXTILE TECH

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 29, 2006
Publication Date: October 24, 2006
Citation: Chun, D.T., Mcalister, III, D.D., Hughs, S.E., Cobb, D.R. 2006. Microbial census and evidence for a direct temporal effect of bale moisture on color grade during six months of storage. Journal of Cotton Science. 10:201-209 (2006).

Interpretive Summary: Earlier studies indicated that storing cottons wet could lead to lower fiber quality associated with microbial activity. The purpose of this study was to follow the moisture content changes and microbial populations for 1, 2 and 6 months storage periods in cotton bales with high moisture contents. The initial target moisture contents studied were 6% (ambient), 8%, 10% and 12%. After 2- and 6-months the moisture contents did not change significantly from the initial moisture contents at 1-month. The high moisture content bales lost moisture after 6-months storage while the three other moisture content bales tended to retain the same moisture content. The microbial populations did not change significantly during 1 and 2 months storage which were colder winter months. The greatest microbial changes associated with moisture content occurred after 6 months of storage, which took place during the warmer spring and summer months.

Technical Abstract: As part of an ongoing investigation, a corroborative study was conducted to follow changes in fiber quality, moisture content, and microbial population in cotton bales with high moisture contents for approximately 1-, 2- and 6-month storage periods. The target moisture contents were 6% (control/ambient moisture content), 8%, 10%, and 12%. The high target moisutre content bales (12%) lost moisutre after 6 mo. of storage, while bales at the three other moisture levels retained the same moisture content. The distribution of moisture, however, was not uniform in the treatment bales. Uneven distribution, or spottiness, increased with increased moisture treatment. Microbial populations did not change during the 1 and 2 mo of storage, which occurred during the colder winter months. The greatest microbial changes associated with moisture content occurred during the 6 mo of storage, which included warmer spring and summer months. Observations on fiber quality associated with moisture content directly linked color degradation to bale moisture content. Moisture was directly correlated with decreases in reflectance and increases in yellowness. The effect of moisutre on yellowness and reflectance increased with exposure (storage duration) and the higher moisture treatments were associated with the greatest decreases in reflectance and increases in yellowness.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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