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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effect of Temperature and Moisture on the Development of Concealed Damage in Raw Almonds (Prunus dulcis).

  • Author(s): Rogel-Castillo, Cristian
  • Zuskov, David
  • Chan, Bronte Lee
  • Lee, Jihyun
  • Huang, Guangwei
  • Mitchell, Alyson E
  • et al.

Concealed damage (CD) is a brown discoloration of nutmeat that appears only after kernels are treated with moderate heat (e.g., roasting). Identifying factors that promote CD in almonds is of significant interest to the nut industry. Herein, the effect of temperature (35 and 45 °C) and moisture (<5, 8, and 11%) on the composition of volatiles in raw almonds (Prunus dulcis var. Nonpareil) was studied using HS-SPME-GC/MS. A CIE LCh colorimetric method was developed to identify raw almonds with CD. A significant increase in CD was demonstrated in almonds exposed to moisture (8% kernel moisture content) at 45 °C as compared to 35 °C. Elevated levels of volatiles related to lipid peroxidation and amino acid degradation were observed in almonds with CD. These results suggest that postharvest moisture exposure resulting in an internal kernel moisture ≥ 8% is a key factor in the development of CD in raw almonds and that CD is accelerated by temperature.

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