Comparative assessment of quality of locally produced commercial and imported rice (Oryza sativa) varieties in Ghana

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JULY, 2016
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Rice consumption in Ghana is on the rise but the locally produced rice is perceived to be inferior or of less quality compared with imported rice. The need to make local rice more competitive and increase the awareness of its nutritive qualities to rice consumers in the country will boost food security in Ghana. This study was conducted to assess the qualities of some identified commercial locally produced and imported rice varieties in Ghana. Field surveys were conducted in the Northern, Ashanti and Greater Accra region to identify these rice varieties. Interviews and semi-structured questionnaires, were used in data collection from rice stakeholder (producers, processors, consumers, retailers and aggregators), randomly selected from each location. Twenty five (25) kg each of the 8 locally produced and imported rice varieties identified through the survey were obtained from farmers, cleaned, milled and bagged (local rice) and used for the study. Laboratory works to determine the proximate and functional properties of the samples were conducted at the Department of Horticulture of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi and the samples stored in a certified Ghana Grains Council’s warehouse in Tamale for a period of 4 months. Sensory attributes and the susceptibility of the rice sample to storage insect pests were also determined. The survey revealed that a lot of the imported rice varieties were preferred by respondents due to it aromatic flavour and clean quality. Royal feast and Texas rice were the most preferred imported brands. The 8 varietiesidentified were stored for a period of 4 months and at the end of each month (30days) samples were taken for analysis to determine their proximate, sensory and functional properties as well as insect infestations. The proximate study was done before the first month and after the fourth month of storage. The locally produced varieties were observed to have high protein (7.68% - 9.87%) and carbohydrate (79.77% - 85.38%) contents compared to the imported brands (81.03% - 82.72%). The crude fat (1.17% - 2.91%), crude fibre (1.27% - 2.82%) and ash (0.67% - 1.33%) contents were higher in the locally produced varieties than the imported brands/varieties. Storage periods and the type of varieties were observed to have significant effect (P˂0.05) on the functional, functional and proximate properties of all the rice samples, Royal feast and Texas rice were the most preferred in terms of their loose grain particles or low sticky properties as compared with the local varieties which were observed to be high in starch hence found to be more suitable for most of the local Ghanaian dishes such as “Omotuo” (rice balls), waakye, porridge (rice water) and weaning meals for infants.
A thesis submitted to The School of Research and Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Post Harvest Technology,