Microwave Irradiation for Dry-Roasting of Hazelnuts and Evaluation of Microwave Treatment on Hazelnuts Peeling and Fatty Acid Oxidation

Loredana F. Ciarmiello, Pasquale Piccirillo, Carmela Gerardi, Filippo Piro, Antonio De Luca, Francesco D’Imperio, Valerio Rosito, Palmiro Poltronieri, Angelo Santino


European hazelnut is an important nut crop in Italy, where about 121,750 tons of in-shell nuts are produced every year. Roasting is the most important practice for hazelnut preservation and commonly is carried out in commercial electrical ovens at 120-160°C for 10-20 min. This needful practice is time and energy expensive, so the development of new processing methods is required to reduce processing costs and to obtain top quality roasted nuts. The aim of this study was to develop a simple microwave treatment for hazelnuts peeling and roasting.

With this aim, some physical (colour, temperature, moisture) and chemical (taste, lipoxygenase activity, fatty acids, vitamins, sensory attributes) features of inshell nuts and kernels of three Italian hazelnut varieties (Tonda di Giffoni, Tonda Romana and Nocchione) after conventional oven or microwave roasting were evaluated.

Results showed that microwave roasting of kernels for 450 s gave a higher peeling score than the conventional oven treatment. This paralleled with better colour and taste scores for microwaved roasted kernels. Furthermore, a 360-450 s microwave roasting was able to inactivate almost completely lipoxygenases, avoiding adverse effects on fatty acids hydroperoxides and PUFA content. A shorter microwave treatment (360 s) was enough to obtain good peeling and sensory scores of inshell hazelnuts.

Taken together our results indicated that microwave technology can be successfully applied to both kernels and inshell hazelnuts to obtain suitable peeling and high quality roasted nuts.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jfr.v2n3p22


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