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Digestion of Raw and Roasted Almonds in Simulated Gastric Environment


Knowledge of digestion kinetics of solid foods in human stomach, as affected by food processing methods, is critical in establishing processing conditions at the manufacturing stage to achieve desirable release of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract. The objective of this study was to investigate how roasting affected disintegration and solid release properties of almond in simulated gastric environment. In vitro trials were performed for raw and roasted almonds by using static soaking method and a model stomach system. The changes in sample weight, dry mass, and moisture during the trials were determined. Both compression and penetration tests were used to investigate the texture of almonds with a focus on the influence of absorption of gastric juice. Light microscopy and transmission electronic microscopy were used to study the change in microstructure of the raw and roasted almonds after simulated digestion. The results suggested that the slow disintegration rate and the high amount of swelling of the almonds in the stomach may contribute to their high satiety property. Roasting significantly improved the disintegration rates of almonds and increased loss of solids during simulated digestion, which is well correlated with the decrease in the rigidity of almond samples after absorbing gastric juice. Microstructure of digested almonds showed breakage and breach of cell walls due to acid hydrolysis. Intercellular and intracellular channels formed in almonds during roasting are important for penetration of gastric juice that may facilitate an effective digestion.

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