General information

White or yellow maize is a cereal distributed in many food supply operations, in grain, grits or flour.

– Whether maize should be white or yellow has to be determined considering beneficiaries food

habits. Maize can also be red (not found in our operations).

‰Milling should be processed only when distribution date is known, to avoid long storage of milled


– Shelf life of milled products is short because the fat content becomes rancid and acidic, and a

milled product is very sensitive to micro-biological contamination. Maize meal can be stored a

few weeks or months only, depending on the climatic and storage conditions, check before


– Extraction rate when milling the grain can vary considerably. 75% is a first grade quality flour,

92% is cruder and will turn rancid or acidic very quickly but from better on a nutritional aspect.

When fast use (few weeks after milling) cannot be guaranteed, extraction of 75% is highly




– The extraction can be performed on whole grains or degermed grains. Degermed grains flour

will have a lower fat and mineral content. Whole grain flour will be better from a nutritional


‰Maize can be stored for a long period of time as whole grains, provided the storage is properly

conducted (control, fumigation…). Storage location must be dry and well ventilated.

– Fumigation of stocks and moving piles should be done at least every 3 months and more often if

needed. Stock rotation must be ensured on FEFO system (first expired-first out).

‰Specifications vary also with national regulations. Here below, we give our most commonly used

specifications. Importation of food is always subject to acceptance from the national authorities,

based on their national and ISO specifications, check these specifications before purchasing.

– Refer to HQ when offered specifications are different from our standard specifications. The

differences have to be approved by a food specialist.

‰Impact on the local, national, or regional market availability and prices should be carefully looked

at before purchasing large quantities.

Emergency Relief Items Catalogue 2002

126 Food


For all aspects of the product, unless described otherwise here below, the standard of Codex

Alimentarius last edition applies, including packaging.

– Product must be fit for human consumption and be of sound, fair and marketable quality.

– The Cartagena Protocol (Biosafety Protocol, additional to the Convention of Biodiversity) requires

that exporters/producers indicate whether food items may contain GMOs (Genetically modified

organisms) or not.

The applicable control methods are:

– ISO 6540 Maize – Determination of moisture content (for milled grains and whole grains)

– ICC 105 Determination of crude protein in cereals and cereal products for food and for feed.

– ISO 2171 Cereals and milled cereals products – Determination of total ash.

– ISO 7305, AOAC 14022 Milled cereal products – Determination of fat acidity

– ICC 113, AOAC 7070 Determination of crude fibre value.

– ISO 5223. Test sieves for cereals, with 4.5mm sieve

Product must be:

– In accordance with the present specifications

– Free from abnormal flavour/odour and living insects/pests.

– From fresh production for milled product (maximum 30 days old at date of delivery).


General specifications applicable world wide

Moisture maximum 13.5%

Other colour maize maximum 5% in yellow/2% in white

Defective maize maximum 6%


– Broken grains maximum 5.5%

– Diseased grain maximum 0.5%

– Other grains maximum 2%

Foreign matter maximum 0.5%


– Filth, dust, soil maximum 0.1%

– Dead weevils per kg maximum10

Toxic seeds maximum 0.05%

Aflatoxine total maximum 4ppb (4micrograms/kg)

Zearalenone maximum 200ppb

Emergency Relief Items Catalogue 2002

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *