I bought some packed almonds and soaked them in water for about 24 hours. I then removed the water with a sieve, cleaned the bowl and put the almonds back. I covered the bowl with a paper towel and left them for about 48 hours. I then placed them in a plastic container and when I opened it the next day, the almonds were covered with a web-like substance.

Were the almonds infected by fungus? How could this have happened?

A picture of the soaked almonds covered with a web-like substance

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    Any food that has moisture is going to mold, whether it's nuts or anything else. That's the idea behind drying food in order to preserve it. – aris Oct 14 at 18:12
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    What did you actually want to achieve by this procedure? – pipe Oct 15 at 11:33
  • Just to add a detail: you're asking how it happened. The mold was already there, as it is in all of the food we have around. Fungus and bacteria is everywhere including the air and it's just a question of time and conditions when it develops. We're basically trying to eat food before microorganisms eat and poison it. – d33tah Oct 15 at 13:13
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    @d33tah "We're basically trying to eat food before microorganisms eat and poison it" That's a bit of a generalization. Fermentation and pickling involve microbes. Vinegar, pickles of all sorts, beer, wine, cider, cheese, miso, fish sauce, etc. all are all considered delicacies. – JimmyJames Oct 15 at 13:42
up vote 33 down vote accepted

They are covered by mold, a type of fungus. What has happened is, mold loves moisture and when you closed the lid on almonds which had a good amount of moisture in them, the mold had the right conditions to grow.

Note: You should discard them all.

And next time, you'd like to have soaked almonds, it's better to keep them in the fridge at all times, as @rumtscho has aptly remarked. This basically means, you should also soak them in the fridge, and once you strain and discard the water you should continue keeping it in the fridge. Basically treating them as perishable food at all times, and discarding them (if any left ;)) after 5 days...

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    Note: if you like soaked almonds, you can still make them. You just have to keep them in the fridge the whole time, from the moment you start soaking them, and treat them as perishable food (discard after 5 days on the latest). – rumtscho Oct 14 at 11:28
  • I take it @rumtscho is talking about a different batch. – Mathieu K. Oct 15 at 14:57
  • I'll edit the answer to reflect a correct wording of @rumtscho's remarks. – zetaprime Oct 15 at 15:06

If you were trying to create almond flour or something, after washing them you should peel off the skin and dry them fast. Under a fan or in a lukewarm oven (200 f) If you allow moisture to stay on it for long time fungus forms as happened now.

  • I think question, doesn't really talk about washing them, but it's really about soaking them. Or do you mean, soaking and then washing? – zetaprime Oct 15 at 14:23

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discard

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