Irradiation of almonds leads to increased peroxide and hexanal levels. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Effect of irradiation, active and modified atmosphere packaging, container oxygen barrier and storage conditions on the physicochemical and sensory properties of raw unpeeled almond kernels (Prunus dulcis).
J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Mar 15;91(4):634-49. Epub 2010 Dec 23. PMID: 21302317
Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Technology, Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, Ioannina 45110, Greece.
BACKGROUND: The present study investigated the effect of irradiation, active and modified atmosphere packaging, and storage conditions on quality retention of raw, whole, unpeeled almonds. Almond kernels were packaged in barrier and high-barrier pouches, under N(2) or with an O(2) absorber and stored either under fluorescent lighting or in the dark at 20°C for 12 months. Quality parameters monitored were peroxide value, hexanal content, colour, fatty acid composition and volatile compounds. Of the sensory attributes colour, texture, odour and taste were evaluated.
RESULTS: Peroxide value and hexanal increased with dose of irradiation and storage time. Irradiation resulted in a decrease of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids during storage with a parallel increase of saturated fatty acids. Volatile compounds were not affected by irradiation but increased with storage time indicating enhanced lipid oxidation. Colour parameters of samples remained unaffected immediately after irradiation. For samples packaged under a N(2) , atmosphere L and b values decreased during storage with a parallel increase of value a resulting to gradual product darkening especially in irradiated samples.
CONCLUSION: Non-irradiated almonds retained acceptable quality for ca. 12 months stored at 20°C with the O(2) absorber irrespective of lighting conditions and packaging material oxygen barrier. The respective shelf life for samples irradiated at 1.0 kGy was 12 months packaged in PET-SiOx//LDPE irrespective of lighting conditions and 12 months for samples irradiated at 3 kGy packaged in PET-SiOx//LDPE stored in the dark.