Unattractive colour, bad taste, kernel size and hard kernels are among factors that affect the level of fresh maize acceptability and subsequent consumption of genotypes in the South eastern part of Nigeria. The variation in sensory characteristics of hybrids generated from crosses between seven maize genotypes of two local varieties (Oka Mbaise and Oka Bende-white) and five improved varieties (DTMA-4, DMR-ESRY (POOL 18-SR), PVA SYM 8 F2 (PRO VIT A), POOL 66/ACR-91 SUWAN – 1- SR (QPM), DTMA – W, from IITA) wereevaluated at the Centre for Agricultural Research, Federal University of technology Owerri and the sensory evaluation was done at different hostels in Umuchima, Ihiagwa and Centre for Agricultural Research, FUTO. Questionnaires were used to achieve the following palatability qualities measured; colour, kernel hardness, appeal, size and taste. The numerical scoring from the questionnaires was analysed using Genstat discovery 10th Edition. There were significant differences among the hybrids for kernel size and appeal. The cross between DTMA-4 and all other genotypes had the highest grain size (2.17) and was the most preferred by the respondents. The crosses between POOL 66/ACR-91 SUWAN – 1- SR (QPM) and Oka Mbaise; POOL 66/ACR-91 SUWAN – 1- SR (QPM) and Oka Bende-white; DTMA – W and Oka Mbaise; DTMA – W and Oka Bende-white; Oka Mbaise and Oka Bende-white had the hardest grain (3.00) and were least preferred by the respondents. Correlation matrix of the sensory evaluation revealed that grain size, colour and appeal were positively correlated while hardness was negatively correlated with appeal.
Keywords: Sensory evaluation, Fresh maize, Acceptability, Genotypes, Variation, Palatability test