A Survey of the Bacteriological Quality of Preroasted Peanut, Almond, Cashew, Hazelnut, and Brazil Nut Kernels Received into Three Australian Nut-Processing Facilities over a Period of 3 Years

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There is little information about bacteriological quality of preroasted kernels available in the public domain. An investigation of the bacteriological quality of preroasted peanut, almond, cashew, hazelnut, and Brazil nut kernels received into three Australian nut-processing facilities was performed over a period of 3 years. A total of 836 samples were analyzed for aerobic plate count, and 921 samples for Salmonella and Escherichia coli. The 921 samples included 653 peanut, 100 cashew, 60 almond, 60 Brazil nut, and 48 hazelnut kernels. There was no E. coli detected in any sample. Salmonella subsp. II (Fremantle) was detected in one raw almond sample. The aerobic plate count percentages of positive samples with counts above the detection level of the plating method used (100 CFU/g) for peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts were 84, 78, 74, 50, and 45%, respectively. Of the samples containing more than this detection limit, the means were 4.5, 4.4, 3.1, 2.5, and 3.8 log CFU/g respectively. Although roasted kernel quality was not within the scope of this survey, raw microbial bioload would be expected to reduce on roasting. The bacteriological quality of preroasted peanut, almond, cashew, hazelnut, and Brazil nut kernels received into nut-processing facilities in Australia does not appear to suggest a public health concern.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: EML Consulting Services QLD, 1/148 Tennyson Memorial Avenue, Tennyson, Queensland 4105, Australia 2: Queensland Health & Scientific Services, 39 Kessels Road, Coopers Plains, Queensland 4108, Australia

Publication date: February 1, 2008

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