Effect of different storage conditions on the stability and safety of almonds uri icon


  • Almond production in Portugal is of great importance for the economy of their main producing areas. However, the contamination of these nut fruits with fungi and mycotoxins poses a significant risk to food safety and security. This work intended to evaluate the influence of storage conditions on the microbial andmycotoxin stability and safety of almonds throughout long-term storage. Two almond varieties—Lauranne and Guara—were submitted to three different storage conditions, namely, 4◦C with noncontrolled relative humidity (RH), 60% RH at 25◦C, and 70% RH at 25◦C, for a storage period of 9 months. Samples were collected after 0, 3, 6, and 9 months of storage and analyzed for microbial loads (aerobicmesophiles, yeasts, and molds),mold incidence and diversity, and mycotoxin contamination. In total, 26 species were identified belonging to 6 genera: Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Penicillium, Paecilomyces, and Talaromyces. For the variety Guara, mycotoxins related to Aspergillus sect. Flavi, such as aflatoxins, averufin, versicolorin C, and norsolorinic acid, were detected only after 9 months of storage at 70% and 60% RH. Penicillium mycotoxins, such as quinolactacin A and roquefortine C, were also detected. For the variety Lauranne, Penicillium mycotoxins were detected, such as citrinin, quinolactacins A and B, roquefortines C and D, cyclopenin, cyclopenol, penitrem A, viridicatin, and viridicatol. Mycotoxins related to Aspergillus, such as aspulvinone E, flavoglaucin, paspalin, asperglaucide, asperphenamate, cyclo(L-Pro-L-Tyr), and cyclo(L-Pro-L-Val), were also detected.
  • This work was supported by the PDR2020 Partnership Agreement and cofinanced by FEADER, Portugal 2020 [ValNuts Project: PDR2020-101-03,0756]; and the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT, Portugal) under national funds FCT/MCTES for CIMO [UIDB/00690/2020] and CERNAS [UIDB/00681/2020].PDR2020 Partnership Agreement; FEADER, Portugal 2020, Grant/Award Number: PDR2020-101-03,0756; Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT, Portugal)FCT/MCTES; CERNAS, Grant/Award Number: UIDB/00681/2020; European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development; CIMO, Grant/Award Number: UIDB/00690/2020

publication date

  • January 2023