The Effect of Microwave Irradiation on the Representation and Growth of Moulds in Nuts and Almonds

Foods. 2022 Jan 14;11(2):221. doi: 10.3390/foods11020221.


Microwave (MW) irradiation is a non-destructive method that can be applied as an alternative method to inhibit the growth of microorganisms. The present study evaluated the effect of MW irradiation on the occurrence of moulds in nuts and almonds. Samples of unshelled natural almonds, pistachios, and in-shell peanuts were treated with different doses of MW irradiation (2400-4000 W). The effect of MW irradiation on mould counts was evaluated by cultivating immediately after irradiation and after 3 and 6 months of storage. The most represented genera in all analysed samples were Aspergillus (68%), Penicillium (21%), and a small amount of Cladosporium (3%). Mould numbers significantly decreased after MW treatment. The treatments with MW irradiations at 3000 and 4000 W significantly reduced the mould colony counts, and their effect persisted during storage; irradiation at 2400 W was partially effective. The strongest effect of MW irradiation was observed in in-shell peanuts. MW irradiation seems to be a promising method for maintaining the microbiological quality of nuts.

PMID:35053953 | DOI:10.3390/foods11020221

Source: Industry