Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Fruit Gravimetrical Traits in Almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb]: Combined Effects of Genetic Control and Environmental Drivers

Gravimetrische Fruchteigenschaften bei Mandeln [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb]: Zusammenwirken von genetischer Kontrolle und Umweltfaktoren


Cultivated almond is an important nut crop commercially grown worldwide. The majority of research works carried out on almond fruit has been focused on chemical composition. However, fruit quality is defined by both chemical and physical characteristics, which are still not well documented. Here, we investigated gravimetrical traits of almond fruit in the five following cultivars: ‘Ferraduel’, ‘Ferragnès’, ‘Fournat de Brezénaud’, ‘Marcona’, and ‘Tuono’. The present study was carried out across three different sites in northern Morocco namely Aknoul, Bni Hadifa and Tahar Souk and over two harvest seasons (2015 and 2016). Gravimetrical measurements consisted in: In-hull weight, nut weight, kernel weight, hull percentage, shelling percentage, true density, bulk density, and porosity. The outcomes of ANOVA demonstrated that cultivar, site, harvest season, and their interactions affected significantly almost gravimetrical traits. In fact, hull percentage, kernel bulk density, and both nut true and bulk densities were mainly under genotypic dependency, while harvest season (climatic factor) was the main variability source in kernel weight. Furthermore, site (edaphic factor) was the most important in determining in-hull weight, nut weight, and kernel true density, while shelling percentage, and kernel and nut porosities were controlled jointly by genetic and edaphic factors. Wide variabilities were found between cultivars, sites, and harvest seasons for almost parameters as demonstrated by LSD’s test. Almond kernels from our cultivars were very small (cv. ‘Tuono’), small (cvs. ‘Ferraduel’, ‘Ferragnès’, and ‘Marcona’), and medium (cv. ‘Fournat de Brézenaud’). Furthermore, corresponding nuts were hard (cvs. ‘Fournat d Brézenaud’ and ‘Tuono’) to very hard shelled (cvs. ‘Ferraduel’, ‘Ferragnès’, and ‘Marcona’). Among sites, fruits harvested from Bni Hadifa performed better in terms of in-hull weight, nut weight, and kernel weight. Whereas, Tahar Souk had the greatest values of hull percentage and shelling percentage. Principal component analysis (PCA) allowed a good discrimination of cultivars, sites, and harvest seasons. The first component was of genetic order along which cultivars were separated, while the second and the third components exerted together an environmental control since they separated sites and harvest seasons, respectively. Significant correlations were highlighted among studied characteristics. The most important ones were modeled through simple regressions and therefore they can be used to predict each other.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  1. Agullo JO, Marenya MO (2005) Airflow resistance of parchment arabica coffee. Biosyst Eng 91(2):149–156.

  2. Aydin C (2003) Physical properties of almond nut and kernel. J Food Eng 60(3):315–320.

  3. Cosmulescu S, Stefanescu D, Ionescu MB (2017) Genetic diversity among Juglans regia genotypes based on morphological characters of nut. Erwerbs-Obstbau.

  4. Dehspande SD, Bal S, Ojha TP (1993) Physical properties of soybean. J Agric Eng Res 56:89–98.

  5. Eroğul D, Oğuz Hİ (2018) Determining the physico-chemical characteristics of the rosehip genotypes grown naturally in Adiyaman province. Erwerbs-Obstbau.

  6. Esfahlan AJ, Jamei R, Esfahlan RJ (2010) The importance of almond (Prunus amygdalus L.) and its by-products. Food Chem 120:349–360.

  7. FAOSTAT (2016) FAO statistical yearbook. FAO, Rome

  8. Gülcan R (1985) Descriptor list for Almond (Prunus amygdalus) (Revised). IBPGR, Rome

  9. Hansche PE, Beres W, Forde HI (1972) Estimation of quantitative genetic of walnut and their implications for cultivar improvement. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 97:279–285

  10. Hussain SB, Anjum MA, Hussain S, Ejaz S, Ahmed M (2017) Physico-chemical profiling of promising sweet orange cultivars grown under different agro-climatic conditions of Pakistan. Erwerbs-Obstbau 59(4):315–324.

  11. Imani A, Shamili M (2018) Almond nut weight assessment by stepwise regression and path analysis. Int J Fruit Sci.

  12. Kashaninejad M, Tabil LG (2009) Resistance of bulk pistachio nuts (Ohadi variety) to airflow. J Food Eng 90(1):104–109.

  13. Kester DE, Hansche PE, Beres V, Asay RN (1977) Variance components and heritability of nut and kernel traits in almond. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 102:264–266

  14. Khadivi-Khub A, Sarooghi F, Abbasi F (2016) Phenotypic variation of Prunus scoparia germplasm: implications for breeding. Sci Hortic 207:193–202.

  15. Kodad O, Lebrigui L, El-Amrani L, Socias i Company R (2015) Physical fruit traits in Moroccan almond seedlings: quality aspects and post-harvest uses. Int J Fruit Sci 15:36–53.

  16. Kodad O, Mamouni A, Lahlo M, Sociasi Company R (2011) Implicación comercial e industrial de la variabilidad del contenido en aceite y proteína y de los caracteres físicos del fruto y de la pepita del almendro en las condiciones climáticas mediterráneas. Inf Tec Econ Agrar 107:300–314

  17. Ladizinsky G (1999) On the origin of almond. Genet Resour Crop Evol 46(2):143–147.

  18. Ledbetter CA, Sisterson MS (2010) Carpological variability of almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) DA Webb cv. Nonpareil] in a single orchard during seven consecutive harvests. HortScience 45(12):1788–1792

  19. Madamba PS, Driscoll RH, Buckle KA (1993) Bulk density, porosity and resistance to airflow of garlic slices. Dry Technol 11(7):1837–1854.

  20. Milošević T, Milošević N (2017) Determination of size and shape features of hazelnuts using multivariate analysis. Acta Sci Pol Hortorum Cultus 16(5):49–61.

  21. Mohsenin NN (1970) Physical properties of plant and animal materials: structure, physical characteristics and mechanical properties. Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, New York

  22. Moosavi-Dolatabadi KS, Dehghan G, Hosseini S, Jahanban-Esfahlan A (2015) Effect of five years storage on total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of almond (Amygdalus communis L.) hull and shell from different genotypes. Avicenna J Phytomed 5(1):26–33

  23. Owolarafe OK, Olabige MT, Faborode MO (2007) Physical and mechanical properties of two varieties of fresh oil palm fruit. J Food Eng 78(4):1228–1232.

  24. Razavi SM, Rafe A, Moghaddam TM, Amini AM (2007) Physical properties of pistachio nut and its kernel as a function of moisture content and variety. Part II. Gravimetrical properties. J Food Eng 81(1):218–225.

  25. Rharrabti Y, Sakar EH (2016) Some physical properties in nut and kernel of two almond varieties (Marcona and Tuono) grown in northern Morocco. CIHEAM Opt Med 119:297–301

  26. Sakar EH, El Yamani M, Rharrabti Y (2017a) Frost susceptibility of five almond [Prunus dulcis (mill.) DA Webb] cultivars grown in north-eastern Morocco as revealed by chlorophyll fluorescence. Int J Fruit Sci 17(4):415–422.

  27. Sakar EH, El Yamani M, Rharrabti Y (2017b) Variability of oil content and its physico-chemical traits from five almond (Prunus dulcis) cultivars grown in northern Morocco. J Mater Environ Sci 8:2679–2686

  28. Schirra M (1997) Postharvest technology and utilization of almonds. Hortic Rev 20:267–311.

  29. Socias i Company R, Kodad O, Alonso JM, Gradziel TM (2008) Almond quality: a breeding perspective. In: Janick J (ed) Horticultural Reviews, vol 34. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, pp 197–238

  30. Sorkheh K, Shiran B, Khodambashi M, Moradi H, Gradziel TM, Martínez-Gómez P (2010) Correlations between quantitative tree and fruit almond traits and their implications for breeding. Sci Hortic 125(3):323–331.

  31. Spiegel-Roy P, Kochba J (1981) Inheritance of nut and kernel traits in almond (Prunus amygdalus Batsch). Euphytica 30(1):167–174.

  32. Takeoka GR, Dao LT (2003) Antioxidant constituents of almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb] hulls. J Agric Food Chem 51:496–501.

  33. Thompson JF, Rumsey TR, Connell JH (1996) Drying, hulling, and shelling. In: Micke WC (ed) Almond production manual. Division of agriculture and natural resources, university of California, Oakland, pp 268–273

  34. Valverde M, Madrid R, Garcia AL (2006) Effect of the irrigation regime, type of fertilization, and culture year on the physical properties of almond (cv. Guara). J Food Eng 76(4):584–593.

  35. Zheng DK, Fielke JM (2014) Some physical properties of Australian nonpareil almonds related to bulk storage. Int J Agr Biol Eng 7(5):116–122

Download references


The authors are thankful to almond growers for their kind help in marking and harvesting.

Author information

Correspondence to El Hassan Sakar.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

E.H. Sakar, M.E. Yamani and Y. Rharrabti declare that they have no competing interests.

Additional information

Figs. 24 are related to PCA plots, while the 4th figure corresponding to linear relationships between some gravimetrical traits. These figures were designed using STATGRAPHICS program version XVII and Microsoft Office Powerpoint.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Sakar, E.H., El Yamani, M. & Rharrabti, Y. Fruit Gravimetrical Traits in Almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb]: Combined Effects of Genetic Control and Environmental Drivers. Erwerbs-Obstbau 62, 37–46 (2020).

Download citation


  • Almond
  • Commercial cultivars
  • Gravimetrical traits
  • Genotypic effect
  • Environmental drivers


  • Mandel
  • Handelsfähige Kultursorten
  • Gravimetrische Eigenschaften
  • Genotypischer Einfluss
  • Umweltfaktoren