PhD student Muchilwa wins UNIKAT ideas competition 2015

Milk Cooler Isaiah Etemo Muchilwa, PhD student at the Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Kassel, Germany, was awarded the first prize in the UNIKAT ideas competition where he presented an innovative method for determining moisture in stored maize grain.


Muchilwa’s work is related to the RELOAD Subproject 5, focusing on staple food. Maize is important for food and nutrition security in several East African countries. It is estimated that more than 50% of the stored grain is affected by mould and contaminated with aflatoxin, a toxic substance caused by mould fungi, causing economic losses and severe risks to human and animal health. Moisture of grains, along with high temperatures and other contributing factors, can lead to a further increase in aflatoxin levels over the storage period. Measuring moisture in maize grain stored on farm or at collecting points can, therefore, be one building block in improving post-harvest management and reducing food losses along the supply chain.


(Photo: Andreas Fischer/University of Kassel)