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Nano packaging is currently one of the most important topics in food packaging technologies. The aim of the application of this technology in food packaging is increasing shelf life of foods by preventing internal and external corruption and microbial contaminations. Use of silver nanoparticles in food packaging has recently attracted much attention. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of nano-silver packaging in increasing the shelf life packages of nuts in an In vitro model. In this experimental study, the effects of different nano-silver concentrations (0, 1, 2 and 3 percent) on biological and chemical properties of 432 samples of nuts including walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios were evaluated during 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 and 24 months. In most samples, different concentrations of nano-silver (1, 2 and 3 %) significantly reduced total microbial count, mold and coliform counts compared to control group and the 3% nano-silver concentration was more effective than other concentrations (P<0.05). Moreover, using this packaging yielded an antioxidant effect especially when 2% and 3% nano-silver concentrations were used. Nano-silver also prevented growth of mold and so prevented aflatoxin production in all treatment groups. Results of chemical and biological tests showed that the silver nanoparticles had a significant effect on increasing the shelf life of nuts. The highest shelf life belonged to pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts with 20, 19, 18 and 18 months, respectively. The shelf life was associated with amount of silver nanoparticles. The highest antimicrobial activity was observed when 3% nano-silver concentration was used in pistachios. The shelf life of control groups in similar storage conditions were calculated for an average of 13 months. In conclusion, the results of this study demonstrate the efficacy of nano-silver packing in increasing shelf life of nuts. Hence, use of nano-silver packaging in food industry, especially in food packaging is recommended.
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