Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Crop Bioprotection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #379411

Research Project: Development of New Production Methodologies for Biocontrol Agents and Fastidious Microbes to Improve Plant Disease Management

Location: Crop Bioprotection Research

Title: Natural flavour (E,E)-2,4-heptadienal as a potential fumigant for control of Aspergillus flavus in stored peanut seeds: finding new antifungal agents based on preservative sorbic acid

item MA, WEIBIN - Henan University
item Johnson, Eric

Submitted to: Food Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/16/2021
Publication Date: 1/30/2021
Citation: Ma, W., Johnson, E.T. 2021. Natural flavour (E,E)-2,4-heptadienal as a potential fumigant for control of Aspergillus flavus in stored peanut seeds: finding new antifungal agents based on preservative sorbic acid. Food Control. 124. Article 107938.

Interpretive Summary: Agricultural products can be contaminated with fungi at harvest. These fungi can grow during post-harvest storage and cause losses of the commodity. In addition, some contaminating fungi can produce mycotoxins which are harmful for livestock and humans. It is imperative to identify technologies that reduce fungal contamination of food that are safe and effective. Peanuts can be infected at harvest with mycotoxin producing fungi that grow during storage. Two naturally occurring chemicals produced by plants were utilized to completely inhibit growth of fungi that were applied to peanuts. The two chemicals are volatiles that are utilized in the food industry as flavoring substances, and generally recognized as safe, but they have not previously been utilized for control of fungi infecting peanuts during post-harvest storage. This research is an important demonstration that these safe, volatile chemicals can be used as fungal control molecules during peanut storage.

Technical Abstract: Strategies for preventing the growth of mycotoxigenic fungi in agricultural commodities need to be identified. In this study, benzaldehyde and sorbaldehyde, two natural aldehyde derivatives of the common food preservatives benzoic and sorbic acid, respectively, were investigated for their antifungal efficacy as fumigants against Aspergillus flavus in stored peanut seeds. In vitro assays demonstrated that benzaldehyde and sorbaldehyde exhibited stronger inhibitory effects on A. flavus than benzoic and sorbic acid, respectively. Moreover, the vapor phase of these two aldehydes were much more effective than direct contact on A. flavus growth. Sorbaldehyde showed higher fumigant activity than benzaldehyde, with 50% effective concentration (EC50) values of 2.6 and 25.5 mg/l air, and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 16 and 128 mg/l air, respectively. Furthermore, fumigation with sorbaldehyde or benzaldehyde could significantly reduce and delay A. flavus growth in stored peanut seeds, and the infection was completely inhibited by 100 mg/l air sorbaldehyde or 400 mg/l air benzaldehyde. These results revealed that sorbaldehyde and benzaldehyde have high potential for the development of antifungal fumigants to protect peanut seeds from contamination of A. flavus during storage.