Saturday, January 15, 2011

Are pistachios the next terror weapon?

Peanuts are a major part of my diet these days - a low-carb snack that I can have pretty much anytime - but I have never been big on the other nuts out there. But I was still horrified to learn how dangerous the pistachio can be. Did you know a single load of these terrorist kernels could sink or burn the ship carrying them?!

When the water content in pistachios gets too large, fat-cleaving enzymes kick in. The fat-cleaving enzymes produce free fatty acids, and those fatty acids are broken down when the nut takes in oxygen and spits out carbon dioxide. During that process it also spits out water, which makes more fat-cleaving enzymes kick in. What's more, that process of breaking down the fatty acid, taking in oxygen and putting out carbon dioxide has a more common name; burning. The process gives off a lot of heat, and that heat builds and builds until the entire bunch of nuts catches fire and sometimes explodes.
Remember this the next time you pick up a bag of these horrible nuts. You may be taking your life into your hands.

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