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Brazil Nuts - Selenium - Oxidation - Mold

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  • Brazil Nuts - Selenium - Oxidation - Mold

    I've read several places that Brazil Nuts are a great way to hedge your bets against selenium deficiency. I'd prefer to be eating oysters and mussels, but I have to find a trustworthy source as shellfish is not a food with a lot of room for error when it comes to freshness, source etc...

    Anyway, I asked my wife to pick up a small bag of Brazil Nuts, mentioning that I would only be eating 1-2 per day, so don't get too many. (apparently selenium overdose is a real concern, so don't go nuts with these nuts).

    Of course she comes home with 2 pounds, but I shrug it off thinking that at least we're stocked up for a while.

    The problem is, there is a VERY SUBTLE moldy taste to them. You can see any mold, you can't even smell it in the bag, but it's almost like an aftertaste. I know that there are dangers with aflatoxins in moldy peanuts, but I'm not sure if Brazil Nuts are affected.

    Not wanting to eat moldy nuts or throw away a $25 bag of food, I settled on peeling them down with a vegetable peeler. This removes any moldy taste, plus I noticed that I am scraping away a layer of what appears to be oxidized nut tissue. I say this because even in the places where there is no brown husk, the white part is visibly whiter where I pealed it, rather than a tan. I think if I were to scrape one of these nuts and leave it on the counter for a couple of days, it would probably regain it's tan color. It makes me think that perhaps the PUFAs that are on the outside are being exposed to air and oxidized, while the portion contained within the nut is sheltered.

    I'm pretty satisfied that I've not only eliminated any mold that may or may not be present, but have also done myself a favor by removing a small oxidized layer.

    The reason I'm taking the trouble to turn this into a post is because I do have a concern that the selenium might actually be present in the brown husky coating that I'm removing. If this is the case, then I would be wasting my time and eating nuts that I don't especially enjoy without any benefit.

    Does anyone know if the selenium is found in the meat, or if it's all concentrated in the husk?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I'm not sure about your question, but I bought some raw brazil nuts the other day. I think they naturally taste earthy, thats how they always taste to me. You can soak them and dehydrate them to reduce toxins, but I'm not sure if this helps mold if there is any present.

    I wouldn't worry too much about 1 or 2 a day; especially if you soak them and store them in the fridge.

    This blog post has snippets of Info: Brazil Nuts, seeds and aflatoxin « MyRawFoodBlog

    Maybe their links will lead to better answers.
    Last edited by j3nn; 03-11-2012, 06:49 PM.
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    • #3
      I know what your talking about and I applaud your ingenuity. I always throw them out if they get old... unless I had the forethought to put them in the freezer.
      "If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat?" - Tom Snyder, talk show host


      • #4
        I hate Brazil nuts.

        Old, young, stale, fresh, in a bag, in a shell, in mixed nuts cheap or expensive, I hate them. I've tried and tried.

        They always taste like they're moldy to me. Either most of the world likes the taste of mold, or not everyone "gets" this flavor from them.

        It's funny--the moldier the cheese, the better I like it. But the hint of "moldy" (earthy, whatever) of Brazil nuts is very unpleasant to me.

        Taste is a funny thing.


        • #5
          First of all... all nuts belong in the freezer unless it's the tiny portion you are taking out to eat now/later.

          Second... if you suspect that they might be a tiny bit off (like a surface issue), but don't taste rancid, scald them for like 10-15 seconds in boiling water, immediately transfer to ice bath to stop heat, then dry/dehydrate them. Should be good as new.
          “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
          ~Friedrich Nietzsche
          And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.