At home we must be very careful and store flammable substances. But what we are not prepared for is the fact that nuts come out burning. And this is not nonsense, because it turns out that Pistachios can spontaneously combust.

This happens with other seeds and nuts, but the issue with pistachios is especially important. In fact, it is very important that the ships that carry them have very specific safety standards. Moreover, although it may seem like a joke, pistachios are classified as dangerous goods in some cases.

In fact, boats are a particularly delicate place, since pistachios can burn in different places, but humidity This is an essential factor for this to happen. An important role is played by the fact that there are quite a large number of these nuts. Therefore, a ship loaded with kilograms and kilograms of pistachios is a ticking time bomb. Rare, yes, but capable of exploding.

Pistachios may burn due to humidity

The reason pistachios can burn in the first place is because of their high fat content. It is estimated that approximately 50% of its composition is fat.. They also have very low water content. We know that fats are very flammable and we would think that a dry environment would encourage them to burn, so the solution would be to add water. But no. This is the worst idea.

When the water level increases, proteins called enzymes are activated, whose function in this case is to decompose fats and break them down into molecules known as fatty acid. In this case, chemical reactions occur in which oxygenreleased carbon dioxide and water and is generated heat. It is enough to briefly remember your school chemistry lessons to know that this is a combustion reaction. The heat that is released if a lot of pistachios are collected is so great that they can burn or even explode. In addition, since the reaction releases water, they activate even more enzymesso a chain reaction is formed, which is very dangerous.

cargo ship
Cargo ships must follow very specific rules for transporting pistachios. Photo: Vidar Nordli (Unsplash)

What is being done to avoid this?

We have already seen that pistachios can spontaneously combust. But what is being done to avoid this?

On ships they are usually stored in conditions pressure, temperature and humidity very controlled. Minimum humidity required. The environment, as is logical on a boat, is very humid, so the storage area for nuts must be very well sealed. In addition, pressure and temperature are controlled for prevent the combustion reaction.

However, we inevitably ask ourselves the question. Can pistachios burn if we store the bag in the pantry?

The answer, for our peace of mind, is that it is very unlikely. We usually don’t store a huge amount of nutstherefore, when the heat generated by all of them was added together, a very explosive reaction could not occur.

In any case, to remain calm regarding pistachios, we must pay more attention to the instructions on the packaging: store in a cool dry place. In case of fire.

Source: Hiper Textual

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