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  • Author or Editor: J.I. Maté x
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Rancidity is a major problem during the storage of shelled peanuts and walnuts. Blanched peanuts, blanched dry roasted peanuts, blanched oil roasted peanuts (all of them extra large Virginia variety) and shelled Persian walnut (Chandler variety) were maintained in closed jars at 37 C. Relative humidity was controlled by saturated salt solutions at 20% and 55%. Oxygen concentration was 21% or reduced to 0.1% by flushing with nitrogen.

Samples were taken every 2 weeks for 10 weeks. Peroxide values were measured and volatiles were analyzed to determine the rancidity of the samples. Oxygen concentrations in the jars and nut moisture were also measured.

Dry roasted peanuts were the most susceptible to rancidity. Blanched peanuts, without any roasting process, were the most stable. The results quantified the importance of oxygen as a major factor in rancidity at the relative humidities studied. It was concluded that it is possible to quantitatively control the rancidity process by decreasing the oxygen concentration surrounding the nuts.

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