Nuts in the test: mineral oil and bad taste problem


The test included 20 packed nuts. Most of them call themselves “natural” or “natural” and contain no other ingredients except for walnut halves. The price range is from 1.99 euros to 7.06 euros for 200 grams.

Discovering tasteless and carcinogenic mycotoxins aflatoxins are a common cause of public product warnings and recalls, along with pathogens such as salmonella. Since kernels without shell protection can also easily absorb plasticizers and mineral oil components during production and storage, we also tested them in the laboratory.

Based on the analysis of so-called fat indices, the testers were able to rule out that the nuts were too old or poorly stored and therefore oxidized. The human senses are also incorruptible in this respect: sensory experts have tasted walnuts for us and taken care of any imbalance in smell, taste and mouth sensation. A slightly bitter or even noticeably bitter taste is typical of walnuts and is not a defect. Mouth sensation (pulling) is part of this as well – unlike strong bitterness or foreign taste impressions of solvents, packages or cardboard. If individual nuts in a package have an unpleasant taste or smell, they should not be eaten, but better disposed of.

Ranking legend

Products with the same overall rating are listed in alphabetical order. Unless otherwise specified, the devaluation limits mentioned here are not statutory limits, but rather those set by ÖKO-TEST. Devaluation limits were set by ÖKO-TEST taking into account measurement uncertainties arising from specific investigations and differences inherent in the method.

Test result components: Under the test results, the components lead to a reduction of two degrees of value: a) measured content of saturated mineral oil hydrocarbons and their homologues (analogues MOSH and MOSH) with chain lengths C17 to C35 greater than 2 to 4 mg / kg (in the table: “MOSH increase”); b) The measured DEHP content is above the Specific Migration Limit (SML) of 1.5 mg/kg specified for this plasticizer. The following results reduce the value of one degree: measured content of hydrocarbons, saturated mineral oils and their analogues (MOSH and MOSH analogues) with C17 to C35 chain lengths greater than 1 to 2 mg/kg (in the table: “MOSH increased slightly”). If ‘no’ is given to the specific analysis results, it means ‘below the quantification limit’ for the respective test method.

Test result sensors: The organoleptic test result devalues ​​three notes: a clear solvent note in the scent with a nutty note that is only slightly perceptible. It leads to a reduction of two degrees: a pronounced lack of smell or taste (here: the degree of solvent, the degree of packaging). The following devalues ​​one note: a) individual minor and/or very slight defects in smell, taste, or mouth feel/texture (here: solvent note, package note, taste is slightly stale, taste in some cases very bitter, mouthfeel sometimes a little dry); b) A sheet of light cardboard in smell with a slightly perceptible nutty note.

Test result Other defects: Under the test result, other shortcomings lead to a devaluation of 1 degree: Missing warning about choking hazard to young children due to nuts (based on BfR opinion 050/2009).

who – which general evaluation Based on the components of the test result. An “inappropriate” sensory test result lowers the overall rating by two notches. A “satisfactory” or “adequate” sensory test result lowers the overall rating by one. The sensor test result and/or other “good” defect test result does not worsen the overall assessment. If the sensory test result is ‘adequate’ or ‘inadequate’, the overall assessment can be at most one notch better.

Test methods

MOSH / MOSH / MOAH analogs: modified DIN EN 16995: 2017. The modification relates to the matrix and saponification. Fractions C10 to C50 were examined in each case. Plasticizer: GC-MS/MS. Aflatoxins: DIN EN 14123: 2008 Modified. The modification concerns a different matrix and partial automation of the processing steps. Acid number: ASU L 13.00-5: 2021, modified. Peroxide Number: ASU L 13.00-37: 2018, Modified. Anicidin Number: DGF C-VI 6e (12), Modified. Modification of the methods relates to different matrix and ex-lipid extraction. Total aerobic bacteria count: DIN EN ISO 4833-2: 2014. Enterobacteriaceae: ASU L00.00-133/2: 2018. Templates: ISO 21527-2: 2008. Escherichia coli: ASU L00.00-132/1: 2010. Salmonella: ASU L00.00-20: 2018. Sensory test: ASU L 00.90-16:2006.

After the individual tests, the individual scores in the group were discussed and a combined overall score was established. Sizing: Based on UNECE DDP-02 standard 2019. PVC/PVDC/chlorinated compounds in the package: X-ray fluorescence analysis.

Purchase of test products: August 2021

The tests and their results are protected by copyright. Copies, copies, microfilms or recordings in electronic media may not be reproduced and/or distributed without written permission from the publisher.

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