Curcumin-Based Photosensitization, a Green Treatment in Inactivating Aspergillus flavus Spores in Peanuts
Foods. 2022 Jan 26;11(3):354. doi: 10.3390/foods11030354.
Controlling microbial contamination in foods using effective clean and green technologies is important in producing food with less contaminants. This study investigates the effect of photosensitization treatment using naturally occurring curcumin on inactivating Aspergillus flavus spores on peanuts. Light dosages of 76.4 J/cm2 and 114.5 J/cm2 at 420 nm were employed in combination with curcumin concentrations from 25 to 100 μM. The inactivation efficiency of the treatment towards spores in suspension achieved a maximum 2 log CFU/mL reduction in viable spores with 75 μM of curcumin at a light dosage of 114.5 J/cm2 (p < 0.05). The in vivo study was then designed using the optimum conditions from the in vitro experiment. The photosensitization treatment at three different curcumin concentrations (50, 75, 100 μM) extended the shelf-life of raw peanuts by 7 days when treated with 75 μM of curcumin combined with a 114.5 J/cm2 light dosage and stored at 25 °C. The treatment effectively reduced average levels of aflatoxin B1 (AF-B1) on peanuts stored for 7 days at 25 °C from 9.65 mg/kg of untreated samples to 0.007 and 0.006 mg/kg for 75 and 100 μM curcumin (p < 0.05) respectively. The results show the potential use of curcumin-based photosensitization treatment in inactivating fungal growth and reducing AF-B1 concentration on raw peanuts.