There are no specific data on the evolution of nut consumption. However, a growing trend can be seen for foods considered healthy and nutrient dense, which includes nuts such as walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts. Moreover, the increase in the consumption of vegetarian and vegan products has also contributed to the popularity of nuts as an alternative to meat for protein.
What microbiological infections if nuts are not properly handled and stored?
Nuts that are not properly stored can become contaminated with different types of microorganisms, such as bacteria (salmonella, Ecoli), molds and yeasts, which can lead to microbiological infections. Risks of infection increase when tree nuts are stored under conditions conducive to microbial growth, such as high temperatures, high relative humidity and poor ventilation.
Which industrial pasteurization treatment to treat contaminated seeds while preserving its intrinsic qualities?
Industrial pasteurization treatment can be used to treat nuts contaminated with harmful microorganisms and prevent microbiological infections. This treatment consists of applying heat at specific temperatures for a fixed period of time to destroy the microorganisms present in the nuts. Processing temperatures and times vary depending on the nature and contamination of the nuts, but can generally vary between 85-105°C for several minutes.
It is important to note that pasteurization can also slightly alter certain organoleptic and nutritional properties of tree nuts, such as taste, texture and nutrient content. Therefore, it is recommended that a subject matter expert be consulted to determine the best pasteurization treatment for particular contaminated nuts.