Physicochemical Quality of Street Vended Roasted Cashew nuts in Tanzania
Ramadhani, Hamisi Abdallah
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Moisture content and pH values are very important factors for fungal growth of roasted cashew nuts. A survey to investigate storage practices of roasted cashew nuts was conducted along the Coastal regions. Physicochemical properties (moisture content and pH values) of roasted cashew nuts from processors and vendors were also evaluated. From the survey, it was found that, immediately after roasting, cashew nuts were stored in plastic buckets (87.5%) and other materials such as paper boxes (12.5%). For retailing purposes, plastic films (polyethylene bags) were the main packaging materials used (97.5%) and paper wrappings (2.5%) respectively. The moisture content were in a range of 3.72 ± 0.31 to 4.36 ± 0. 15 and 3.80 ± 0.19 to 4.59 ± 1.85% for roasted cashew nuts from processors and vendors respectively. The pH values of roasted cashew nuts from processors and vendors were 6.21 ± 0.10 to 6.52 ± 0.21 and 6.37 ± 0.15 to 6.58 ± 0.07 respectively. The pH values observed were in a range which is conducive for fungal growth and toxin production. Therefore, a need to ascertain physicochemical quality as predetermined factors for fungal growth in roasted cashew nuts is relevant to ensure quality and public health safety.