The present study aimed at investigating antioxidant and antifungal properties of apricot (Prunus armeniaca) gum containing 1, 2 and 3% extract of Satureja intermedia for coating wild almond (Amygdalus scoparia) kernels during 60 days of storage. Antifungal effect of the coating agent was evaluated against Aspergillus flavus, Alternaria alternate, Fusarium oxysporum and Penicillium citrinum. In order to evaluate the oxidative stability of the samples, parameters including peroxide value, free fatty acids, radical scavenging activity, conjugated dienes value, and fatty acid profile were measured during storage. Results indicated that apricot gum containing the extract had remarkable antifungal effect on the above-mentioned fungi which was intensified by the increase in the extract concentration. Moreover, increase in the extract concentration results in the elevated antiradical activity of apricot gum against DPPH radicals. During the storage time, wild almond kernels coated with apricot gum had lower fungal contamination compared to the controls. Results of antioxidative tests indicated that oxidative compounds content and fatty acid profile variation of the coated samples were lower than those of the controls. In general, samples coated with 3% extract had the highest antiradical and antifungal activities; thus, apricot gum with the extract can be used as an antimicrobial and antioxidant coating for dried fruit.
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S.M.B. Hashemi would like to express his appreciation to the Fasa University. The authors would like to thank Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran and also Center for Development of Clinical Research of Nemazee Hospital and Dr. Nasrin Shokrpour for editorial assistance.
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