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Last updated August 9, 2007

Dr. Ron Currie Laboratory, NAIT

Students in Dr. Currie's laboratory at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology have done several excellent in-depth analyses of the chemical makeup of hazel oil, kernel and shell with an eye on the commercial and industrual uses of each of these materials. The abstract of each report is given below, with links to the full papers in PDF form.

Anand Batoo, Collin Campbell, Amanda Jack and Beena Jacob

Submitted April 22, 2005


This investigation involves a study of the physical properties of the shell, kernel, and the oil of the hazelnut in order to identify any potential uses for them. The optimal wet ashing process was determined to examine the mineral content of each of the hazelnut fractions. Techniques such as particle size distribution, thermal gravimetric analysis, pyrolysis, and heavy metal adsorption provided valuable information about the properties of the shell. The assessment of the oil involved the extraction of the oil, and oxidation of the oil.

PDF Full-text report 35 pages [596 KB]

Ian van Beers, Shari Letendre, Wayne Swiney and Scott Raposo


The quality of fourteen hazelnut varieties is measured to differentiate between the levels of oil content per nut, crude protein in mash, and fatty acids in cold press oil. Filbertone in roasted hazelnut is qualitatively assessed to identify the potential of the hazelnut in the current market. The objective of the analysis is to predict the success of each variety in the market place. Some of the varieties are genetically crossed to produce hybrids.

Cold Press method was used to perform statistical analysis of 14 hazelnut Varieties. Samples 10 and 6 produced the most oil per nut than the rest. Sample 10 produced the most oil per kernel than any other variety. Sample 6 had the smallest percent kernel to nut.

The hazelnut mash was analyzed for crude protein content by Kjeldahl’s method. Samples 3 show the highest protein content than any other hazelnut variety.

Gas Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy and Fatty Acid Methyl Ester Profile was performed on the cold pressed hazelnut oil varieties. Hazelnut samples are compared to cold pressed olive oils and evaluated for saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acid content. Sample 11 has the lowest saturated fat content of the 14 varieties and is lower than olive oil. Sample 6 contains highest levels of mono-unsaturated fats and is higher than olive oil. Sample 6 also has the lowest poly-unsaturated fat, lower than olive oil. Sample 1 has the highest level of poly-unsaturated fats, higher than olive oil.

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy was used in the comparison of roasted hazelnut oil to non roasted hazelnuts. The results qualitatively distinguish filbertone content. The results show that Roasted Hazelnuts have larger amounts of filbertone than unroasted nuts. Only quantitative work will allow differentiation of the varieties. Then the best route for product development of hazelnuts can be better estimated.

PDF Full-text report 45 pages [932 KB]

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