Physical characteristics of maize grain and tortilla exposed to electromagnetic field
 
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1
National Polytechnic Institute, Sepi-Esime, Zacatenco. Professional Unit ‘Adolfo López Mateos’, Col. Lindavista, México D.F., C.P. 07738, Mexico
2
Chapingo Autonomous University, km. 38.5 Highway Mexico-Texcoco, Chapingo, C.P. 56230, Mexico
3
Department of Physics, CINVESTAV–IPN, A. P. 14-740, Mexico D.F., C.P. 07360, Mexico
 
Int. Agrophys. 2011, 25(4): 389–393
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ABSTRACT
In order to improve the physical characteristics of maize grain and, consequently, those of maize tortilla, a basic food in Latin American countries, using environment-friendly techniques, the effect of electromagnetic irradiation on physical properties of grain, nixtamal, and tortilla of maize varieties was assessed as well as the response of every variety. Grain was exposed to an electromagnetic field of 480 mT intensity induced by a solenoid. There were differences (p0.05) among maize varieties and times of exposure to the electromagnetic field for hectolitre mass, flotation index, mass of 100 kernels, colour of kernel and tortilla (reflectance in %), retained pericarp, loss of solids, and firmness. On average, flotation index of grain, retained pericarp and colour of tortilla diminished by 15.5, 11.0, and 3.1%, respectively, at 15 min of exposure, while firmness and elongation of tortilla increased by 39.4 and 9.3% with respect to the control. Kernel flotation index in HS2 diminished by 39.1% at 15 min, whereas in AS722 and CAZ there was no significant change compared to 0 min. Likewise, in CAZ and HS2 the colour of tortilla decreased by 4.9 and 6.0%, respectively, at 15 min. An increment of 2.6 and 4.5% in AS722 was observed for mass of 100 kernels and colour of grain compared to the control, at 10 min exposure to electromagnetic field. Each variety responded differently to electromagnetic field according to the structure and chemical composition of the grain.
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