New research conducted by the Institute of Food Research (IFR), entitled Potential Prebiotic Properties of Almond Seeds, has found that finely ground almonds could have prebiotic properties, which can stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria.

The study looked at the prebiotic effect of almond seeds in-vitro. Finely ground and de-fatted finely ground almonds were compared to commercial oligosaccharides (a recognized prebiotic). A colonic model was then used to mimic gut fermentation order to establish the possible prebiotic effects.

"Almonds are known to have several nutritional benefits," explained research scientist Dr Guisy Mandalari. "We found that finely ground almonds significantly increased the level of prebiotics - bifidobacteria and Eubacteria rectale - compared to commercial oligosaccharides. However, the de-fatted finely ground almonds did not have this effect."

Research concluded from the results that almonds - and specifically the fat in almonds - appear to exert a prebiotic effect. Dariela Roffe-Rackind, associate director European region for the Almond Board of California said: "Dr Mandalari’s breakthrough research supplements almonds’ extensive nutrition portfolio and provides further evidence that almonds are a natural ingredient that can tap into the trend for high functionality."