A prepper’s recipe: Blending chicken burgers with pistachio hulls increases their shelf life
08/09/2018 // Frances Bloomfield // Views

As any prepper knows, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is food spoilage. This is especially true if you’re fond of chicken burgers, which are prone to deteriorating fairly quickly. Fortunately, the addition of a simple ingredient can greatly improve the storage life of your homemade chicken burgers without affecting taste. The ingredient? Pistachio hulls.

According to a study published in CyTA - Journal of Food, the high amounts of antioxidants and phenolics found in pistachio hulls can inhibit bacterial growth and lessen lipid oxidation. The greater the levels of pistachio hulls, the better the storage life and cooking properties of chicken burgers. Moreover, adding pistachio hulls would have no discernible impact on their appearance, taste, or smell.

To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers behind the study first obtained pistachio hull water extract. This entailed shelling fresh pistachio nuts, oven drying them for six hours, mixing the powder with distilled water, then centrifuging the slurry before freeze-drying it. The researchers prepared chicken burgers with the following chicken-meat-to-pistachio-hull-water-extract ratios: 95 percent and zero percent, 93 percent and two percent, 90 percent and five percent, and 88 percent and seven percent. Onion powder, salt, black pepper, white pepper, and garlic powder were added as well.

The chicken burgers were then stored in polyethylene bags at a temperature of around four degrees Celsius for 14 days. Analyses of total plate count (TPC) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were carried out on days zero, five, 10, and 14 of storage.


Three burgers were cooked, allowing the researchers to determine the chemical composition, pH levels, and total phenolic contents of both raw and cooked burgers. Additionally, 20 staff members from the College of Food and Agriculture at King Saud University, all of whom were experienced in sensory evaluation, volunteered to judge the burgers. They were told to grade control and treated burgers by flavor, taste, color, juiciness, texture, and overall acceptability.

Despite the addition of pistachio hull water extract, there were no notable differences in the fat, protein, and ash contents of the control and treated burgers, before and after cooking. However, the treated burgers were shown to have higher total phenolic contents than the control burgers, even after being cooked. There were also significant differences in cooking yield and moisture retention, with the treated burgers having greater values in both criteria.

The burgers that were stored for two weeks all yielded high TPC and TBARS results, meaning they were all unsafe for consumption. In comparison to the control, however, the treated burgers had lower TPC and TBARS values. The researchers attributed these results to the antimicrobial properties and high phenolic contents of the pistachio hull water extract. (Related: Once revered as an exclusive royal delicacy, the pistachio nut is now being recognized as a great healing food.)

When it came to sensory evaluation, the only criteria where the control burgers scored higher was in overall acceptability. The treated burgers that contained five percent and seven percent pistachio hull water extracts had a greater overall mean value in color. Even then, the difference wasn’t that great. The outcomes in all other criteria were close.

As per their findings, the researchers concluded their study by stating that the inclusion of pistachio hull water extract was beneficial to chicken burgers. Not only can pistachio hull water extract extend the shelf life of chicken burgers, but they can also boost antioxidant activity, augment the cooking properties, and decrease TPCs and lipid oxidation.

So the next time you decide to make chicken burgers, consider throwing in some pistachio hulls. This unconventional ingredient could give you chicken burgers that keep longer.

If you’re looking for more science-backed tips and tricks to improve your food preparation process, just go to FoodScience.news.

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