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Chemical and Sensory Characterization of Oxidative Changes in Roasted Almonds Undergoing Accelerated Shelf Life.


In almonds, there is no standard method for detecting oxidative changes and little data correlating consumer perception with chemical markers of rancidity. To address this, we measured peroxide values (PV), free fatty acid values (FFAs), conjugated dienes, tocopherols, headspace volatiles, and consumer hedonic response in light roasted (LR) and dark roasted (DR) almonds stored under conditions that promote rancidity development over 12 months. Results demonstrate that, although rancidity develops at different rates in LR and DR almonds, consumer liking was not significantly different between LR and DR almonds. Average hedonic ratings of almonds were found to fall below a designated acceptable score of 5 ("neither like nor dislike") by 6 months of storage. This did not correspond with recommended industry rejection standard of PV < 5 mequiv peroxide/kg oil and FFA < 1.5% oleic. FFAs remain well below <1.5% oleic during storage, indicating that FFAs are not a good marker of rancidity in roasted almonds stored in low humidity environments. Regression of consumer liking to concentration of rancidity indicators revealed that selected headspace volatiles, including heptanal, octanal, nonanal, 2-octenal, 2-heptanone, 2-pentylfuran, hexanal, and pentanal, had a better correlation with liking than did nonvolatile indicators.

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