Processing Archives - West Coast Nut


Almond ready to be processed

Another Record Breaking Almond Crop Predicted for 2019

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) releases two almond reports every year. The first is the subject report based on opinions from randomly selected California almond growers throughout the state by a phone survey conducted in April and May. NASS’s objective report provides a more precise estimate on yield based on actual almond counts and measurements gathered from over 850 orchards statewide that includes the weight, size and grade of the average almond sample broken down by growing district and variety. The 2019 subjective report was released in May, and for the second year in a row it is predicting a record breaking almond crop. According to the NASS, California almond orchards are expected to produce 2.50 billion pounds of nuts this year, an increase of 8.69 percent over the 2018 2.30 billion-pound crop. NASS’s objective report will be released on July 3, 2019.  ...

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fsma preventative control for the nut industry

FSMA: Preventative Controls for the Nut Industry

By Safe Food Alliance, Contributing Writer

For our second installment in this series on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) series, we’re going to talk about the “Preventive Controls” rule, which is the main rule for food processors. It’s similar to the Hazard and Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), with some notable differences which we’ll address below, including some specific requirements that you may not have seen before. Who’s Covered In general, facilities which register with FDA under part 415 of the FD&C act (that is, food processors) have to comply with the rule, unless specifically given an exemption. There are a few available exemptions based on specific food industry sectors such as meat processors or alcoholic beverage companies, which already have other regulations in place, but there are no specific exemptions for the nut industry. But there are some modified requirements for certain situations such as a very small company...

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New Technologies Benefit Nut Processors

By Kathy Coatney, Editor

New technology is expensive, but many times it is worth the investment because of the resulting savings in time, efficiency and improved product.   Electrical Systems Electrical systems have been greatly improved in recent years by the use of PLC's (Programmable Logic Controllers). PLC’s allow huller/sheller operators to initiate operation of all equipment with a single control. Additionally, future equipment can be added by simply changing the PLC program. Changing the program easily allows sequencing of equipment start-up and shut down.   Precleaning Precleaning of field harvested almonds has been improved with the advent of receiving pit vibrating feeder/scalpers. This equipment allows the operator to discharge the almonds directly onto the feeder/scalper without clogging stationary pit grates. The feeder/scalper also removes sticks and other large foreign material, which in turn, protects the downstream equipment. John Dyrseth, owner of San Joaquin Systems in Modesto, California, said the benefits to updating the precleaning equipment would...

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What you need to Consider Before Building a Walnut Huller

By Kathy Coatney, Editor

A wet harvest is a concern for many walnut growers. Will I have a home for my nuts or will I be left out in the cold? A major motivation for growers to move into hulling is ensuring their own nuts, according to Bill Carriere, president of Carrier Family Farms in Glenn, California. Carriere farms have been hulling walnuts since 1974. Installing a huller is a big capital outlay, Carriere continued. “Some of it is basically just insurance that you have a home for your walnuts at the time you want it.”   Individual Versus Commercial Roger Isom, CEO of the Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) said, the first thing to consider is are you doing just your own nuts, or are you going to do a commercial operation that includes your nuts and other growers? With a Commercial operation size alone comes with more problems, Isom said.  


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Processing: The Newest in Sorting Machines

By Cecilia Parsons, Associate Editor

Automation, food safety and efficiency are driving forces in nut processing equipment innovation.   Leaders in some of the major walnut processing equipment and systems design companies spoke about some of the changes that have occurred in walnut hulling, sorting and drying.   The process begins right after walnuts are picked up from the orchard floor and delivered to a huller. Unlike almonds, walnuts are not stockpiled due to their high moisture content. They must be hulled and dried quickly to preserve quality. (more…)

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