Almond Food Safety & Quality Assurance

Maximizing Almond Shelf Life

Freshness. Flavor. Aroma. Texture. At Blue Diamond, we understand what’s important to consumers. These factors play a huge part in food development and marketing. And after 11 years of study, we think we’ve cracked the code for the shelf life of almonds.

Long live the almond! In 1986, Blue Diamond Growers Almond Research Center initiated an extensive almond shelf life program. Since then, hundreds of products have been tested, monitored and studied. This data showed that almonds have a longer shelf life in comparison to other nut meats.

Shelf life measurements are often a tough nut to crack. It’s difficult to assign an absolute value to storage properties, due to year-to-year changes in nut crop and weather conditions, as well as differences in cultural practices and post-harvest handling. These factors result in shelf life variability in almonds. So, it’s important to note that not all data applies to every situation.

What causes almonds to go bad? When oxygen reacts with unsaturated fat through the autoxidation process, various breakdown products are formed, causing off-flavors and other problems, like rancidity. Our shelf life procedures are set in place to help protect your almonds from going sour.

What decreases almond shelf life?

Size of pieces
Greater surface area, greater opportunity for the autoxidation process

Moisture content
Increased moisture can increase oxidative and biological processes

Exposure to light and certain metals
Light’s free radical formation—and some metals—can increase oxidative processes

Processing methods
Cutting, blanching, roasting, adding moisture or poor-quality roasting oil

What increases almond shelf life?

Roasting methods
Under normal storage conditions, dry roasted almonds can last longer than oil roasted

Coatings
Antioxidant applications or chocolate coatings can sustain shelf life

Synthetic Antioxidants
BHA, BHT and TBHQ are all effective synthetic antioxidants for almonds

Natural Antioxidant
Mixed tocopherols, a commercial product, is an effective natural antioxidant