Stockpiles have long been a way of life for the almond industry, and proper management is critical to prevent aflatoxin contamination. Nut contamination actually begins in the orchard as molds which produce aflatoxins are common in nature. Molds are found in the soil and in mummy nuts infested with the Navel orangeworm pest. Contamination levels beyond allowable levels can lead to nut rejection in the marketplace. Research funded by the Almond Board of California suggests that certain conditions in stockpiled almonds can increase the risk of growth and spread of Aspergillus spp, the fungal molds that cause aflatoxins. The Almond Board is funding research to establish a threshold and develop management guidelines for specific allowable kernel moisture content and temperature in stockpiles.
About the Almond Board
Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 almond growers and processors in California, many of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit Almonds.com or check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.