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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Genetics and Breeding Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #113835


item PUNIA, R
item DAHIYA, O
item WILSON, D
item Wilson, Jeffrey - Jeff

Submitted to: International Sorghum and Millets Newsletter
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/8/2000
Publication Date: 12/1/2000
Citation: Punia, R.C., Dahiya, O.S., Wilson, D.M., and Wilson, J.P. 2000. Propionic acid treatment prolongs storage and inhibits lipolytic processes in cracked pearl millet feed grain. International Sorghum and Millets Newsletter 41:80-81.

Interpretive Summary: As a new drought-tolerant crop, many aspects of handling pearl millet grain must be evaluated to reduce risks of mycotoxins. Grain must be harvested in a timely manner to prevent pre-harvest grain molds, yet the resulting levels of grain moisture require special handling to prevent storage molds. Prior to being used in feed, the grain is cracked. While cracking increases sits feed value, grain becomes rancid and unpalatable in a short time. Rancidity results from microbial action on the grain, and can be measured by free fatty acid content. Propionic acid is known to be a mold inhibitor in stored grain and was proposed to reduce rancidity of cracked grain. Microbiological activity was evaluated in intact and cracked grain which was either non-treated or treated with propionic acid. Non-treated grain, and particularly the cracked grain, rapidly rotted. Fatty acid values of non-treated cracked grain were more than twice the value of intact grain. Minimal differences were found in free fatty acids of treated cracked and intact grain differed. Propionic acid effectively prevented storage molds and reduced rancidity associated with cracked grain.

Technical Abstract: Maintaining grain quality of pearl millet feed grain in storage will require reducing storage molds and associated mycotoxins, and rancidity resulting from microbial activity. Intact or cracked pearl millet grain at 18% moisture was non-treated or treated with propionic acid (15ml/kg grain). Grain was sampled at weekly intervals and evaluated for free fatty acids. Non-treated grain was extremely decayed after two weeks in storage. Most fungi observed were Aspergillus glaucus, A. flavus, and other Aspergillus species. No visible mold developed on acid-treated grain by four weeks. Acid treatment reduced rancidity. Fatty acid values of non-trea rain averaged 38% higher than acid-treated grain. Cracking promoted rancidity. Fatty acid values of cracked grain averaged 84% higher than intact grain. Propionic acid appears to be an effective mold inhibitor for pearl millet feed grain and can reduce rancidity associated with cracked grain.