Research – Effect of Pulsed Light on Quality of Shelled Walnuts


Shelled walnuts are considered a microbiologically low-risk food but have been linked to some outbreaks, and a treatment aiming to decrease this risk is desirable. Pulsed light (PL) may be an alternative, providing it does not seriously impair their quality. This work assessed the impact of PL on some quality attributes of walnuts. To do this, measurements of rancidity, volatiles, total phenols, antioxidant activity, and descriptive sensory analysis were carried out on untreated and PL (43 J/cm2)-treated kernels. PL had no statistically significant (p > 0.05) effects on TBARS, peroxide value, total phenols, and antioxidant activity but significantly increased the concentration of volatiles related to green/herbaceous odors and decreased compounds related to fruity and citrus odors. The descriptors nut overall, walnut odor and flavor, and aftertaste were given statistically significantly (p < 0.05) higher scores, while descriptors woody odor and sweet received lower scores; 16 other traits such as all those related to color, texture, and rancidity were unaffected. No significant (p > 0.05) effects on total phenols and antioxidant activity in general were observed during the course of PL treatment. It can be concluded that PL technology may be used in shelled walnuts with only mild effects on their quality; a storage study must be carried out in order to determine the effect of PL treatment on its shelf-life. View Full-Text

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