Removing mold can sometimes aid in digesting nuts.
Some people find that when they remove mold that is growing on nuts, they are able to eat them without a peanut allergy reaction. Because peanut allergy can cause life-threatening anaphylaxis, it is not recommended that you try this unless you have been recommended to do this by your allergist or other health professional. Removing the mold from nuts does not stop you from having a peanut allergy, but it can be an effective way for some people who have difficulty digesting peanuts and other nuts to eat them without discomfort.
The United States Department of Agriculture reports that mycotoxins, which are poisonous substances produced by molds, can grow on nuts. This can make otherwise healthy nuts, like peanuts, dangerous to eat. Some of the toxins produced by these molds has been linked to cancer and other diseases, according to the USDA. You cannot usually see the mold on nuts because molds have thin roots that grow deep into the food. This is why it is not possible to wash off the mold and safely consume to food in many instances. Some molds that grow on the surface of foods, such as green mold on bread or white mold on cheddar cheese, can be seen. Other molds that have deep roots cannot be seen without a microscope. Scientists believe that there are over 300,000 different kinds of molds.
Different Ways to Remove Mold from Nuts
Some people rinse off nuts with hot water and then quickly dry them before eating. According to the USDA, nuts must pass a rigorous safety test before they are sold, but you may want to take other precautions to make sure that all of the mold is off of the walnuts, peanuts, or cashews before eating them. Aflatoxin is present on many nuts, and it is a natural, cancer-causing compound. Scientists are currently working on a method to stop aflatoxin from forming while nuts are being grown. Some naturally produced products like gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid are found in coffee beams. These natural acids may be used to stop the growth of mold on nuts before they are harvested in the future. Some people soak their nuts in boiling water before eating them, or they actually boil the nuts. There is some controversy surrounding the methods used to remove mold from nuts that may make it wiser to avoid them completely, or to eat them only occasionally.
Nut Allergy vs. Mold Reaction
If you have not been tested for a nut allergy, you may believe that you have a food allergy to them. Instead of having an allergy, you may be reacting to the mold on nuts. Although they are tested, there is always the chance that some nuts made it through the testing process onto your grocer's shelves. Some people have found that switching from peanut butter to almond butter eliminates the stomachaches that they normally develop after eating peanuts or peanut butter.