Variation of almond yield, biometry, a-tocopherol levels, and antioxidant properties with nitrogen fertilization uri icon


  • A two years’ experiment (2015–2016) was set in a factorial design in which the effect of two application forms of nitrogen (N) (soil and soil + foliar spray) in different doses (0, 25, 50, and 100 kg N ha-1) on almond (Prunus dulcis Mill. cv. “Masbovera”) was evaluated. Kernel yield, biometric properties, phytochemicals, and antioxidant activities were assessed. The results showed that almond kernel yield increases with an increment in N rate doses and was positively correlated with kernel weight and thickness, and negatively with fruit weight. The levels of α-tocopherol and total polyphenol content were higher with lower N doses (25 and 50 kg N ha–1). The antioxidant activities were positively correlated with polyphenol content. Based on our results, excessive N rates over 50 kg/ha depreciate the levels of α-tocopherol, total polyphenols, and antioxidant bioactivities of kernels. Practical applications Almond is an important nut (dry) fruit that contains high levels of α-tocopherol, moderate levels of polyphenols, and high antioxidant activities, all responsible for their claimed health-promoting properties. Almond trees are known by their alternate behavior in which kernel yield and levels of phytochemicals and other compounds are highly variable between years. This article studies the usage of a sustainable nitrogen fertilization program toward a reduction of their alternate behavior, preserving and promoting their antioxidant properties and their levels of phytochemicals, particularly α-tocopherol and polyphenols. Our findings may provide a useful guide for adequate nitrogen fertilization program toward a better almond kernel quality

publication date

  • January 2018