Why do brazil nuts stick to their shells?

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Why do brazil nuts stick to their shells?
« on: 12/01/2010 18:30:02 »
westhead  asked the Naked Scientists:
From:Judy Westhead
Cape Town
Could you perhaps explain  why  some Brazil nuts stick to the shell when you crack them?
Thanking you in anticipation of your answer.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 12/01/2010 18:30:02 by _system »


Offline Don_1

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Why do brazil nuts stick to their shells?
« Reply #1 on: 13/01/2010 10:52:16 »
I'm just guessing here. It may be that the flesh of the nut only becomes loose and easy to remove from the shell when it is fully ripened. If the capsule falls prematurely, the individual nuts may not fully ripen. Alternatively, it may be dependant on how far into the rainy season the capsule falls. Those which fall later in the season may have a higher water content and thus swell more than those which fall early.
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