Predictive Modeling of Pecan Quality During Storage

Pecan quality can deteriorate during storage leading to reduced shelf life. Large amounts of Georgia-grown pecans are exported to other countries in which pecans may encounter adverse storage conditions, and the quality can deteriorate significantly. UGA food science research is systematically investigating pecan quality changes at various storage conditions. The changes in pecan moisture, texture degradation and lipid oxidation are assessed. Sensory properties are evaluated to determine the flavor changes and the shelf life of the samples. The effect of different packaging materials and modified air conditions are also examined for their effect on pecan shelf life. The storability of different pecan cultivars (Pawnee, Desirable, Stuart) and the effect of different conditioning methods are also studied. They are developing a predictive computational model that can be used to predict pecan quality after storage at various conditions. The model will be uploaded to the UGA website for free use to pecan growers and processors.