The influence of full irrigation, double-regulated (RDI) and sustained deficit irrigation (SDI) treatments on almond quality was assessed by analyzing different parameters: sugars, organic acids, antioxidant activity, total phenolic content (TPC), and volatile compounds. Almond quality studies for plants submitted to water stress are scarce, and it is essential to understand the biochemical responses of plants to water stress in maintaining fruit yield and quality. Citric acid, sucrose, antioxidant activity, and TPC were not affected by the application of studied deficit irrigation strategies (DI). An increase in malic acid and a decrease in glucose was observed for stressed samples (T3 and T4), while a higher number of total volatiles compounds was found for moderate RDI (T2). Using deficit irrigation strategies, the almond yield and quality was not changed, and in fact, some parameters, such as glucose and key volatile compounds, slightly increased under moderate RDI. This finding might encourage farmers to implement these strategies and contribute to sustainable agriculture.
Keywords: Prunus dulcis; antioxidants; hydroSOStainable products; phenols; sugars; volatile compounds.