At What Temperature Are Food Enzymes Destroyed?

by Sarah Affiliate linksHealthy LivingComments: 74

My videoclass from last week, Raw Nuts Done Right, appears to have caused a bit of a stir.  Nothing new for this blog, as challenging the status quo is something that happens with regularity in these parts!

In Raw Nuts Done Right, I demonstrate how to properly soak raw nuts in brinewater and then dry them in a warm oven set at 150F.   This practice deactivates antinutrients and ensures maximum digestibility and nutrient absorption and is in accordance with the wise preparation methods of Traditional Cultures like the Aztecs.

Numerous comments on the post itself, my YouTube Channel, email, and Facebook have insisted that drying nuts at 150F is far too high and that the food enzymes are destroyed.

So, what’s the truth?  Are nuts dried in a warm oven set at 150F still raw or not?

The confusion seems to rest with the difference between wet heat and dry heat.   When a liquid food like milk is heated, you will find that you burn your finger at a temperature of 118F.  If the milk is heated only to 117F, you will not burn yourself and this is nature’s magical way of letting us know that the food still has all of its enzymes intact.

Food enzymes withstand dry heat much better than wet heat.   According to Dr. Mary Enig, Board Member Emeritus of the Weston A. Price Foundation in an article about food enzymes:

“All enzymes are deactivated at a wet-heat temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and a dry-heat temperature of about 150 degrees.

It is one of those happy designs of nature that foods and liquids at 117 degrees can be touched without pain, but liquids over 118 degrees will burn. Thus we have a built-in mechanism for determining whether or not the food we are eating still contains its enzyme content”.

I hope this information clears up the confusion about drying raw nuts in the oven and whether or not the food enzymes are still intact.  It is especially important to harness the convenience of drying large batches of raw food in the oven as not everyone has access to or can afford a large dehydrator.

If you are still unconvinced, dry out a batch of soaked nuts in a 150F oven and then eat a handful straight out of the oven.  You will be delighted to see that the nuts are not hot and that you do not burn your hand or mouth, an indication that the food enzymes are indeed preserved.


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

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The Healthy Home Economist holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Mother to 3 healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, ABC, NBC, and many others.

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