Food Safety Implications of Online Recipes for Preparing Soaked Nuts and Nut-Based Dairy Analogs

Maeve Swinehart, Linda J. Harris, Hanna Louvau, Yaohua Feng Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 19-35, Jan 2024 Volume 44, Issue 1: Pages 19–35 DOI: 10.4315/FPT-23-016

Foodborne outbreaks have been associated with tree nuts and nut-related products that include a soaking step. A content analysis of consumer-shared recipes for soaking tree nuts and subsequently preparing nut-based dairy analogs was conducted to explore consumer handling practices and evaluate available food safety information. A keyword search was performed on YouTube and Google for videos and blogs, respectively. Recipes (n = 505) were coded for general characteristics, handling practices, and food safety messages. Of the 465 recipes that included a soaking step, 76% (353) included soaking for >8 h or overnight, and 17% (79) soaked at room temperature or warmer. Among the 66 recipes that included dried soaked nuts, 22 (33%) specified drying below 65°C (150°F). In recipes that included a fermentation step (212), commercial probiotics (63%; 133) were the most common starter culture, and the most frequently cited (14%; 30) temperature and time combination was 20 to 35°C (68 to 95°F) for 24 to 48 h. Of all the analyzed recipes, 49% (99) of videos and 30% (84) of blogs lacked food safety messages. These findings will aid development of science-based validation studies and educational materials for consumers and content creators for safe preparation of homemade soaked tree nut products.

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