Benefits of nuts and dried fruits may help to improve our health and to prevent some diseases when included regularly in eating habits. Because of their interesting nutritional profile, some studies have evaluated the impact that nuts have on health and have observed an inverse association between the frequency of nut consumption and cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes and body weight.
Today, the states of California, Arizona and New Mexico represent 100 percent of the U.S. commercial pistachio production. California comprises 99% of the total with over 294,000 acres planted throughout 22 counties. There are 950 producers in the United States and the annual “farm gate value” of pistachios represents more than $1.6 billion to the California economy and more than $16 million to the states of Arizona and New Mexico. Harvest takes place anywhere from late August to early October.
The only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America, the pecan is considered one of the most valuable North American nut species. The name “pecan“ is a Native American word of Algonquin origin that was used to describe “all nuts requiring a stone to crack.” Size classification: Size of pecans may be specified in connection with the grade in accordance with one of the following classifications. To meet the requirements for any one of these classifications, the lot must conform to both the specified number of nuts per pound and the weight of the 10 smallest nuts per 100 nut sample.
Since ancient times, almonds have been prized throughout the world for their delicious taste, crunchy texture and increasingly for their nutritional value. Between mid-August and October, almonds are harvested and the nuts are then gathered and delivered for processing, where the next stage of cleaning and grading occurs.
Walnuts are considered to be one of the oldest forms of food known to man, dating back as far as 7000 BCE. The leading commercial producers of walnuts are China, The United States (California produces 99%), France, Chile and India. Walnuts are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
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Walnut Varieties: Chandler Chandlers are late bloomers and harvest toward the end of September to the middle of October. This variety is prized for having large and smooth textured nuts. They have a well-sealed shell and a pearly-white kernel. Chandlers have the highest color grade for all walnut varieties. Hartley Hartleys are harvested in mid-late season. The nut is fairly large and has a pointed tip. It has a thin, but well-sealed shell. Crack-out and light color percentages are lower than other varieties. Howard Howard is harvested in mid-season from the middle to end of September. It produces a large, round and smooth nut. It has a high percentage of light kernels and a well-sealed shell. SERR Serr harvests early to mid-season. Crack-out is 59% with a large kernel size of over 7 grams. Shell seal is fair to good. Color is also fair at 60% light kernels. TULARE Tulare is harvested in mid-season. This variety is known for high quality kernels at 7.5 grams. It has fair crack-out of 59%, and good percentage of light kernels. Nuts are large, mostly round and well-sealed. VINA Vina harvest is early to mid-season. It produces a high quality, medium sized kernel. Shells are pointed and well-sealed.