Figure 5: Size of Aspergillus inoculum load on whole fruit at differing depths in the stockpile relative to those found in the middle of the pile (clear tarp)
Figure 6: Amount of aflatoxins in whole fruit from different depths in the stockpile relative to those found in the middle of the pile (clear tarp)
With investment in this project and others, the Australian almond industry is making a solid step towards maintaining its reputation of supplying product that’s high quality and food safe.
• Avoid mixing nuts from different stockpile depths to minimise contamination. • Segregate moist, mouldy nuts. • Avoid the use of tyres or other structures directly on top of the covers as this provides a concentration point for the condensate to run to. • Land form the base of the stockpile pad so moisture (rainfall or condensate) can drain away. • Manage stockpile dimensions so that one piece of cover/tarp with no joins successfully covers the almonds. • Shorten stockpile duration. Summary This project indicates the occurrence of Aspergillus growth and aflatoxin production occurs in limited sectors of the supply chain and under certain conditions. It also seems clear that if you manage four general areas this will go a long way to mitigating these conditions: 1. Minimise the exposure to Aspergillus inoculum by minimising mummies. 2. Minimise kernel damage from insects. 3. Minimise the duration of time product spends on the ground. 4. Maintain stable, low temperature, low RH, low moisture stockpile conditions. Failing to manage these areas has the potential to cost industry stakeholders in many areas, namely: sorting and testing product to further minimise risk; ship rejections; loss of sales and consumer confidence; and there is also a potential risk of consumer health.
For further information contact:
Ben Brown Industry Development Manager Almond Board of Australia P 08 8582 2055 or 0447 447 223 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
References Adaskaveg, J.E. “Epidemiology & Management of Almond Brown Rot, Scab, and Other Diseases in California.” 2010. Almond Board of California Research Proceedings # 09-PATH4-Adaskaveg. Brown, P. 2012. 2012 Australian Almond Conference Presentation: “What’s the Right Rate, Calculating Your Nutrient Budget”. Gouk, C. 2013. Milestone Report 106. HAL Project 11009, Food Safety in Almonds Stage 2. Unpublished. Gouk, C. 2013. 2013 Australian Almond Conference Presentation: “Aspergillus - Protecting Your Crop and Reputation”. HAL Project 11009, Food Safety in Almonds Stage 2. Holtz, B, and B. Tetviotidale. 2008. Presentation: “Almond hull rot management.” Merced County Pest Management Updates. October 12th, 2008. Lampinen, B. “Harvest and Stockpile Management to Reduce Aflatoxin Potential.” 2012. Almond Board of California Research Proceedings # 12-AFLA2-Lampinen. McMichael, P. 2010. Fact Sheet: What Threatens the Safety of Almonds? Almond Board of Australia. Teviotdale, B. L., Goldhamer, D. A., and Viveros, M. 2001. Effects of deficit irrigation on hull rot disease of almond trees caused by Monilinia fructicola and Rhizopus stolonifer. Plant Dis. 85:399-403. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. 2002. Integrated Pest Management for Almonds, 2nd Edition. Publication 3308.