Trans-2-hexenal (T2H), a plant-produced aldehyde, was intermittently pumped over a 7 d period into a small, bench top model of stored corn (nonsterile, moisture content about 23%). Naturally occurring bacteria and fungi, including added Aspergillus flavus, grew rapidly on corn not treated with T2H vapor. However, intermittently pumped T2H (30 min per 2 h or 30 min per 12 h) significantly reduced bacterial and fungal viable populations, with nearly 100% fungal viability loss observed after either (1) one day of pumping at the 30 min per 2 h rate or (2) pumping cycles of 30 min per 12 h period over the initial 48 to 72 h of incubation. Data suggest that short-term intermittent fumigation of stored corn with T2H could prevent growth of bacteria and mycotoxigenic fungi such as A. flavus.
Intermittent pumping of volatile T2H for as little as 30 min per 12 h period over the initial 72 h could prevent the growth of naturally occurring bacteria and fungi, especially mycotoxigenic fungi, on stored, nonsterile high moisture corn.