POTENTIALS OF PIPER GUINEENCE (SCHUM AND THOM) AND MONDORA MYRISTICA (GAERTN) FOR THE PROTECTION OF STORED MAIZE (ZEA MAYS) AGAINST SITOPHILUS ZEAMAIS
Undamaged and uninfested maize grains were hand picked, packaged in moisture proof package and disinfested in the deep freezer for 96 hours. Thirty six sets (500g per set) of disinfested maize were weighed into prepared containers. Each set of maize was infested with 200 live maize weevils (Sitophilus zeamais). The weevils were reared on whole maize at room temperature inside a plastic bucket covered with muslin cloth. Graded levels (0 to 10%) of coarsely ground spices Monodora myristica and Piper guineense were introduced into the infested maize samples. The content was mixed and covered with cotton material held in place with rubber bands. Contents were stored for a period of one month. Protein content of the stored samples was monitored weekly. Results show that significant differences (P<0.05) existed between samples. After storage treated samples were analysed for the effect of the spices on seed viability and extent of damage done by the weevils. Results show that Piper guineense offered more protection to the maize grains than Monodora myristica. Significant differences (P<0.05) existed amongst the spice treated samples and the control. Effect of the spice treatment on the acceptability of the products made from the spice treated maize was assessed subjectively using two products namely fermented maize gruel, pap (akamu) and toasted corn. Products were scored for colour, taste, flavour and general acceptability by a 20 member untrained panel, using a 5 – point hedonic scale, where 5 represents the most desirable attribute (very desirable) and 1 represents the least desirable attribute (very undesirable). The result of sensory evaluation revealed that treatment did not affect the colour of the products, since there were no significant differences in colour (P>0.05) between samples. There were significant differences (P<0.05) in flavour, taste and general acceptability. The control and the sample treated with 2% concentrations of Monodora myristica received the highest panel scores on taste, flavour and general acceptability.