Abstract: The potential effect of skin removal and roasting on individual and total phenolic content, and on antioxidative potential of 6 hazelnut cultivars were investigated. HPLC-MS identification of individual phenolics confirmed the presence of 7 flavan-3-ols (catechin, epicatechin, 2 procyanidin dimers, and 3 procyanidin trimers), 3 flavonols (quercetin pentoside, quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside, and myricetin-3-O-rhamnoside), 2 hydrobenzoic acids (gallic acid, protocatechulic acid), and 1 dihydrochalcone (phloretin-2′-O-glucoside). Flavonols were only detected in whole hazelnut kernels. The content of individual phenolics, with the exception of gallic acid, was always highest in whole unroasted hazelnuts and was significantly reduced after skin removal. Similarly, total phenolic content and antioxidative potential decreased when skin was removed. Roasting had a significant negative effect on individual phenolics but not on the total phenolic content and antioxidative potential of kernels. From a health promoting phytochemical composition of hazelnuts the consumption of whole unroasted kernels with skins should be preferential to peeled kernels either roasted or unroasted.
Practical Application: A significant reduction in the antioxidative potential and total phenolic content is detected after hazelnut skin removal but not after roasting, suggesting that hazelnut kernels should be consumed whole. In hazelnut skin, many phenolic compounds are located, which are not present in flesh and, therefore, the health properties of hazelnuts are strongly affected by skin removal. Thermal processing and roasting conditions used in this study had a lesser effect on the individual phenolic composition of the kernel and thus roasted and unroasted hazelnuts without skin contain comparable amounts of health promoting compounds.