The evaluation of the bioaccessibility of almond nutrients is incomplete. However, it may have implications for the prevention and management of obesity and cardiovascular disease. This study quantified the release of lipid, protein, and vitamin E from almonds during digestion and determined the role played by cell walls in the bioaccessibility of intracellular nutrients. Natural almonds (NA), blanched almonds (BA), finely ground almonds (FG), and defatted finely ground almonds (DG) were digested in vitro under simulated gastric and gastric followed by duodenal conditions. FG were the most digestible with 39, 45, and 44% of lipid, vitamin E, and protein released after duodenal digestion, respectively. Consistent with longer residence time in the gut, preliminary in vivo studies showed higher percentages of nutrient release, and microscopic examination of digested almond tissue demonstrated cell wall swelling. Bioaccessibility is improved by increased residence time in the gut and is regulated by almond cell walls.
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