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Fardin-Kia AR, Handy SM, Rader JI. Characterization of pine nuts in the U.S. market, including those associated with “pine mouth”, by GC-FID. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Mar 14;60(10):2701-11.
Taste disturbances following consumption of pine nuts, referred to as “pine mouth”, have been reported by consumers in the United States and Europe. Nuts of Pinus armandii have been associated with pine mouth, and a diagnostic index (DI) measuring the content of Δ5-unsaturated fatty acids relative to that of their fatty acid precursors has been proposed for identifying nuts from this species. A 100 m SLB-IL 111 GC column was used to improve fatty acid separations, and 45 pine nut samples were analyzed, including pine mouth-associated samples. This study examined the use of a DI for the identification of mixtures of pine nut species and showed the limitation of morphological characteristics for species identification. DI values for many commercial samples did not match those of known reference species, indicating that the majority of pine nuts collected in the U.S. market, including those associated with pine mouth, are mixtures of nuts from different Pinus species.