Nuts are highly appreciated due to their nutritional relevance and flavour, being the source of many desirable and healthy compounds as polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. Their characterization became the target of many studies in the last years through conventional analytical techniques as chromatographic ones. Due to the limitations associated to these techniques, as time, cost and environmental concerns, spectroscopic techniques have been increasingly pointed as reliable alternatives. Either applied to raw materials quality control or to more complex process, as industrial in-line monitoring, spectroscopic techniques, namely vibrational spectroscopy, are gathering strong acceptance. This paper presents a review on the application of vibrational spectroscopy, infrared and Raman, to nuts characterization. Estimates of several qualitative and quantitative parameters, origin authentication and/or adulteration in almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts and pistachios will be covered. Advantages and limitations of these techniques and future trends will also be discussed.
- Chemical composition