A group of researchers from the University of Cordoba, in partnership with Andalusian Institute of Agricultural Research and Training's Alameda del Obispo Center, developed a tool to determine the sweetness or bitterness of almonds in real-time.
The researchers designed a new system that uses portable Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) to predict the levels of amygdalin present in the nuts with or without its shell. Amygdalin produces benzaldehyde, responsible for the bitter taste, when it comes into contact with the enzymes in saliva. NIRS technology uses a beam of light that emits a specific signal when it detects the presence of amygdalin in the almonds.
The new tool is a breakthrough for nut farmers because it will help them identify which nuts are suitable for commercial use. The technology can also be used for early or real-time food authentication to prevent false claims by nuts producers.
(Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. www.isaaa.org)

Photo Credit: University of Cordoba