Chemical composition of selected edible nut seeds

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Venkatachalam, M., S.K. Sathe. 2006. Chemical composition of selected edible nut seeds. J Agric Food Chem. 54, 4705-4714.

Commercially important edible nut seeds were analyzed for chemical composition and moisture sorption. Moisture (1.47-9.51%), protein (7.50-21.56%), lipid (42.88-66.71%), ash (1.16-3.28%), total soluble sugars (0.55-3.96%), tannins (0.01-0.88%), and phytate (0.15-0.35%) contents varied considerably. Regardless of the seed type, lipids were mainly composed of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (>75% of the total lipids). Fatty acid composition analysis indicated that oleic acid (C18:1) was the main constituent of monounsaturated lipids in all seed samples. With the exception of macadamia, linoleic acid (C18:2) was the major polyunsaturated fatty acid. In the case of walnuts, in addition to linoleic acid (59.79%) linolenic acid (C18:3) also significantly contributed toward the total polyunsaturated lipids. Amino acid composition analyses indicated lysine (Brazil nut, cashew nut, hazelnut, pine nut, and walnut), sulfur amino acids methionine and cysteine (almond), tryptophan (macadamia, pecan), and threonine (peanut) to be the first limiting amino acid as compared to human (2-5 year old) amino acid requirements. The amino acid composition of the seeds was characterized by the dominance of hydrophobic (range = 37.16-44.54%) and acidic (27.95-33.17%) amino acids followed by basic (16.16-21.17%) and hydrophilic (8.48-11.74%) amino acids. Trypsin inhibitory activity, hemagglutinating activity, and proteolytic activity were not detected in the nut seed samples analyzed. Sorption isotherms (Aw range = 0.08-0.97) indicated a narrow range for monolayer water content (11-29 mg/g of dry matter). No visible mold growth was evident on any of the samples stored at Aw < 0.53 and 25 °C for 6 months.