SAFE MOISTURE TOLERANCE FOR PECANS

Pecan Research

Staff of the Department of Horticulture, Texas A&M College

In running routine tests with pecan kernels in the department of horticulture it was noted from time to time that certain samples were badly damaged by blue mold. This occurred while the kernels were being held in polyethylene bags at a temperature of about 36⁰F. Several hundred samples were included in the test and only a relatively few samples became molded. It has been frequently observed that pecan kernels that have a high moisture content are subject to molding. The molded samples along with the hundreds of samples that were not molded provided a good opportunity to obtain data on safe moisture content for pecan kernels that are to be stored at low temperatures. The moisture content of kernels that was molded and also normal kernels---those that had been stored successfully for about three months without molding---are given below.

       182 8.44 7 4.54 185 9.29 96 3.21 Success 188 8.72 341 4.33 194 9.04 55 2.58 Burkett 180 7.33 215 3.06 471 2.92

MOLDED KERNELS NORMAL KERNELS Sample No. Percent Moisture Sample No.  Percent Moisture
Desirable

 

These results indicate that pecan kernels can be stored satisfactorily at a 36⁰F temperature if the moisture content is about 4½ percent or less; but that if the moisture content is about 7 percent or higher, the kernels are likely to become molded in storage.