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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #406189

Research Project: Healthy, Sustainable Pecan Nut Production

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Title: Improving microbial safety and quality of nuts using nonthermal technologies

item GYAWALI, RABIN - Fort Valley State University
item MAHAPATRA, AJIT - Fort Valley State University
item Bardsley, Cameron
item Niemira, Brendan

Submitted to: Trends in Food Science and Technology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/26/2024
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Due to recent outbreaks, foodborne pathogen contamination of low-moisture foods such as nuts and nut products are becoming more of a concern. Thermal treatments which include cooking, frying, or roasting may be effective at eliminating pathogens but these processes change other important aspects of the nuts such as taste and shelf life. The development and use of nonthermal technologies provide promising outlooks to prevent foodborne illness from occurring with these products while maintaining quality and sensory attributes. This review article provides a succinct detailed description of various nonthermal treatments and their efficacy of treating nuts by reducing pathogen levels and preserving the quality. This in turn provides nut manufacturers the ability to identify nonthermal technologies that may be implemented into their operation.

Technical Abstract: Increase in foodborne illnesses associated with low-moisture foods have led to growing concern regarding the safety of nuts and nuts associated products. Nonthermal technologies provide an alternative to thermal processing that can achieve microbial safety and preserve the quality characteristics of nuts. The present review focuses on the applications of various nonthermal technologies: High pressure processing, cold plasma, ultraviolet light, pulsed light, ultrasound, and irradiation. Applications of sanitizers, ozone, modified atmospheric packaging, and edible films and coatings have also been included. Based on the literature review, the future recommendations to improve the safety and quality of nuts are discussed.