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Pine Nuts

Pine cones are collected when they are still closed. Once they open, pine cones are ground. Sieves and cyclones are used to separate pine nuts from cone scales and fragments. Pine nuts are subsequently stored in their shell.

  • Production of Pine Nuts
  • Pine nuts are soaked in water prior to the shelling process in order to increase their elasticity and reduce the risk of damage to the pine nut kernel. Shelling can be done in one of two ways: either using the rotary friction method, or using the impact shelling method.
  • In the rotary friction method, pine nuts are placed between two hard surfaces. Friction exerted by the hard surfaces on the nuts breaks open their shell. In order to avoid crushing the kernel when the shell is cracked, the distance between the two hard surfaces must be adequately set. Pine nuts must therefore be sized in order to obtain a uniformly-sized lot.
  • In the impact shelling method, the force of impact against a hard surface cracks the pine nuts’ shell. As such, impact shelling is better suited for pine nuts that have a soft shell and it does not require them to be sized.
  • Once they are shelled, pine nut kernels are once again separated from the shells by sieves and cyclones. Subsequent production stages include standardization of humidity, sawdust polishing and classification according to size, shape and color using an electronic colorimeter.
  • Different parts of the world have different regulations regarding tolerated aflatoxin levels in food. In the European Union, “Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs” provides that the maximum level of total aflatoxin is 10 μg/kg. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration’s “Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) Sec 555.400 Foods - Adulteration with Aflatoxin” provides that the maximum level of total aflatoxin is 20 mcg/kg (20 ppb).
  • Benefits of Pine Nuts
  • The nutritional content of pine nuts depends on the pine tree species from which they originate. Overall, pine nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats and protein, with certain varieties of pine nuts providing all 20 essential amino acids required by the body for tissue growth and repair.
  • Pine nuts are rich in several vitamins and essential minerals. For example, they are high in vitamins E and K. Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant. It neutralizes the damage caused by free radicals, which are compounds released in the body by the conversion of food into energy or in reaction to environmental pollutants. Vitamin K, on the other hand, plays an important role in the synthesis of proteins needed for blood clotting and bone health.
  • Essential minerals provided by pine nuts include potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. Potassium is needed for healthy cardiovascular, muscle and nervous system function. Phosphorus is essential for physiological processes including enzyme activation and regulation of pH levels in the body. Magnesium plays an important part in regulating blood pressure and glucose level as well as muscle function. Including pine nuts in one’s diet is therefore a good way to promote overall health.
  • How to Use Pine Nuts
  • Pine nuts can be eaten both raw and lightly toasted as a delicious and nutrient-rich snack. They can be used as a topping for salads or any number of savory dishes such as meat, chicken, fish or grain dishes such as rice. Pine nuts are famously used to make pesto.
  • Pine nuts can also be used in bakery and incorporated into breads, cakes, cookies or pastries. They can be ground into a flour which can also be used to produce baked goods. Pine meal is obtained once pine nut kernels are pressed and their oil is extracted. When mixed with water, pine meal forms a tasty beverage or cream. The confectionary industry also uses pine nuts in the production of chocolate and bars.
Quality



● Extra Class
● Class I
● Class II

Available As

● Whole
● Pieces

Certifications

● NOP Organic
● EU / EC Organic
● COR Organic
● Kosher
● Halal

Did You Know?

Although called nuts, pine nuts are in fact the edible seeds of particular varieties of pine trees.

They have a markedly expensive price due to the time it takes for pine trees to mature and produce the seeds, and to the considerable labor required to harvest them. Pine trees may indeed require decades to begin producing edible seeds. Once the seeds are produced, the process of harvesting them is painstaking and requires several labor-intensive steps, from collecting pine cones, to extracting the seeds from the cones, and finally separating the seeds from their protective shell.

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