Shelf life determinants and enzyme activities of pearl millet: a comparison of changes in stored flour of hybrids, CMS lines, inbreds and composites

J Food Sci Technol. 2017 Sep;54(10):3161-3169. doi: 10.1007/s13197-017-2752-z. Epub 2017 Jul 20.


Shelf life of pearl millet flour is very short because of rapid development of rancidity. This investigation was carried out in view of generating breeding material for development of low rancid pearl millet hybrids/varieties. Flour of twenty-one genotypes; seven hybrids, seven CMS lines, five inbreds and two composites stored in covered aluminium boxes at 37 °C for 30 days along with respective fresh flour was analysed for shelf life indicators/determinants. Crude fat content and fat acidity (FA) of fresh flour of the genotypes varied from 3.8 to 7.2% and 11 to 75 mg KOH/100 g d.m., respectively. FA in stored flour ranged between 180 and 330 mg KOH/100 g d.m. After storage, magnitude of decrease in pH of water extract of flour of the genotypes varied from 0.15 to 0.44. Activity of peroxidase (POX) varied from 378 to 588 units in control flour and irrespective of the genotypes decreased upon storage. Increase in FA (difference between FA of fresh and stored flour) rather total build up of FA was positively associated with crude fat content (r = 0.440*) indicated comparatively more prominent role of lipolytic enzymes. Chemical changes taking place in water soluble fraction of flour were independent of fat content as no correlation was discerned between fat content and decrease in pH. Among the hybrids, HHB 197 had lowest crude fat content (4.7%), lowest total build up FA (212 mg KOH/100 g d.m.), slowest increase in FA (191 mg KOH/100 g d.m.), least decrease in pH (0.31) of water soluble fraction flour during storage and lowest activity of POX in fresh flour (377 units/g d.m). Among all the tested CMS lines, inbreds and composites, HBL 11 showed pattern of quantitative changes in FA, pH and POX activity similar to the hybrid HHB 197 and was identified a promising inbred for developing low-rancid pearl millet variety or hybrid.

Keywords: Fat acidity; Oxidative enzymes; Pearl millet; Storage; pH.