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HAZELNUT FACTS: Because of its distinctive composition of fat (mainly oleic acid), protein, carbohydrate, vitamins (vitamin E), minerals, dietary fiber, phytosterols (beta-sitosterol) and antioxidant phenolics, among the nut species, hazelnut plays a major role in human nutrition and health. The nutritional characteristics and the taste of hazelnut make it a unique and ideal ingredient for various food products. Hazelnut is a rich source of energy as its oil content ratio is around 62%. Many researchers have stated the beneficial effects of hazelnut consumption on human health. These effects could be related to the fatty acid profile of hazelnut lipids, which are rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids [oleic (82%) and linoleic (9%)]. Studies have shown that diets low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated fats (MUFA) are effective in controlling the blood lipid levels, which makes it also likely that the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) decreases. In addition, diets enriched with MUFA, which is high in hazelnut oil, have also similar positive effects on the human health such as low occurrence ratio of CHD, decrease of blood pressure, decrease of total cholesterol, decrease of low density lipoprotein (LDL), increase of high density lipoprotein (HDL) and decrease of blood triacylglycerols in humans. Hazelnut is the second best source of vitamin E after plant oils. Vitamin E is a lipid soluble phenolic antioxidant. The antioxidant characteristic of phenolics bases on their ability to convert hydrogen atom to free radicals. It is widely acknowledged that these compounds have the potential to prevent cancer, arteriosclerosis and diabetes, as they are able to support the formation of free radicals. Because of the antioxidant role of vitamin E and its relationship to CHD and cancer, there is an increased interest of the consumer and industry in food products including hazelnuts and hazelnut products. 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin E can be reached by hazelnut consumption of only 25-30 g per day.