UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Impact of the Persistence of Three Essential Oils with Antifungal Activities on Stored Wheat Grains, Flour, and Baked Products Juárez, Zaida N.; Bach, Horacio; Bárcenas-Pozos, María E.; Hernández, Luis R.


Wheat grains are exposed to several plagues after harvesting and during storage. These plagues include bacteria, fungi, and insects with detrimental outcomes to their quality and heavy losses to the farmers. Fungi are of special interest because of their ability to produce mycotoxins with health concerns. Once grains are harvested, synthetic fungicides, which are sprayed before long-term storage, normally control fungi; however, these synthetic products represent a health concern because of their toxicities. Previously, we reported the antifungal activity of the essential oils extracted from Porophyllum linaria, Agastache mexicana, and Buddleja perfoliata against fungal strains isolated from stored wheat. In this study, we sprayed wheat grains with the same essential oils to measure their persistence interval and to prepare baked products to assess potential changes in their physical properties. The persistence interval of the essential oils in grains indicated that it takes between 63 and 134 days to eliminate 90% of the original compounds. This extended time of the compounds in the grains together with a lack of physical properties modifications of the flour and baked products (post-treatment) suggest that the presence of oils in the grains is potentially safe to use. The solid data denote the technological feasibility of the treatment and the possible management of residues through adequate safety intervals.

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