Ángel A. Carbonell-Barrachina, Amanda Ramírez-Gandolfo, Francisco Burló, Francisco Martínez-Sánchez, Lorena Rey-Martinez, Andrés Fullana
Food Sciences of Food Sciences
A fire originated and burnt two cold chambers; the present study focused on almonds stored in adjacent chambers (4, 5, 6 and 13) and evaluated both their food safety and quality. Testing for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans was carried out in affected facilities, packaging and almonds. Experimental results proved that fire fumes did not reach chambers 4-6, but traces were found in bin packaging of chamber 13; thus, packaging from this chamber were changed. Concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene were low enough to prove that fire fumes did not get in contact with the stored almonds. Later, only volatile compounds typical of nuts were identified in both raw and toasted almonds. Finally, a trained panel concluded that no sensory signal of fumes reaching almonds was found. This manuscript could be taken as a model protocol to establish whether fire fumes have reached and affected the safety and/or quality of foods. This information will be especially useful for insurance companies.