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Effect of Almond Processing on Levels and Distribution of Aflatoxins in Finished Products and Byproducts

Zivoli, Rosanna, Gambacorta, Lucia, Perrone, Giancarlo, Solfrizzo, Michele
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2014 v.62 no.24 pp. 5707-5715
aflatoxins, almonds, blanching, byproducts, enzymes, pastries, peeling, roasting, sugars, syrups
The fate of aflatoxins during processing of contaminated almonds into nougat, pastries, and almond syrup was evaluated by testing the effect of each processing step (blanching, peeling, roasting, caramelization, cooking, and water infusion) on the distribution and levels of aflatoxins. Blanching and peeling did not reduce total aflatoxins that were distributed between peeled almonds (90–93%) and skins (7–10%). Roasting of peeled almonds reduced up to 50% of aflatoxins. Up to 70% reduction of aflatoxins was observed during preparation and cooking of almond nougat in caramelized sugar. Aflatoxins were substantially stable during preparation and cooking of almond pastries. The whole process of almond syrup preparation produced a marked increase of total aflatoxins (up to 270%) that were distributed between syrup (18–25%) and spent almonds (75–82%). The increase of total aflatoxins was probably due to the activation of almond enzymes during the infusion step that released free aflatoxins from masked aflatoxins.