Short Communications

The effect of grain mould fungi on sorghum malt quality and its management during malting

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 26, issue 1, 2009 , pages: 45–47
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2009.10639931
Author(s): M.T. Tesfaendrias, South Africa, N.W. McLaren, South Africa, W.J. Swart, South Africa


The effect of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) at various concentrations during steeping in reducing the growth of grain mould fungi and the improvement of malt quality was tested. Significant (P ≤ 0.05) differences in grain mould fungal frequency, percentage germination and root length were observed between different concentrations of NaOCl. Fungal frequency was reduced by up to 98% at 1.75 and 3.5% NaOCl. However, germination and root length of grains were negatively affected at NaOCl concentrations above 0.43%. High germination (>80%) was recorded at concentrations ≤ 0.43% NaOCl while this was reduced to <70% at higher concentrations. Similarly, the longest root length (32.25 mm) was recorded in seedlings treated with 0.43% NaOCl with a decline in root elongation, particularly at the higher (1.75 and 3.50%) concentrations tested. It was concluded that treating of sorghum grains with appropriate concentrations of NaOCl may reduce the contamination of grains by mould fungi, improve germination vigour and hence, the quality of malt.

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