Processing Archives - West Coast Nut



New Outlooks for Hull and Shell Management Options Using Biosolarization

Managing Almond Hulls and Shells
Almonds are American’s favorite tree nuts by far1, but what many consumers do not realize is that the kernel we eat is only 27 percent of the nut. The majority of the almond nut—the hull and shell—is a byproduct. It is estimated that 1.6 billion pounds of shells and 4.5 billion pounds of hulls are co-produced with kernels annually, a number that is only expected to increase as more almond trees are planted in California2. Despite being inedible, hulls and shells are resources in their own right. The hull—similar to the flesh of other stone fruit like peaches and cherries—is rich in sugars and is used in dairy cattle feed, and the fibrous woody shell is used as animal bedding. Despite this, novel management options are needed as almond production outpaces demand for feed and bedding. Confronted with this problem, University of California (UC) Davis...

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CSU Fresno Developing Tree Nut Hulling/Processing Course for Students

You may recall, in your previous life of schooling, having to sit through riveting science lectures. Lessons often centered around the makeup of cells within our bodies, or the fundamentals of chemistry might come to mind. While most of us can be thankful that we have yet to be tested on these past lectures, what if there were labs and lectures tailored specifically to helping students familiarize and understand the tree nut hulling and processing industry? Students at CSU Fresno (Fresno State) will soon have that opportunity. Tree Nut Industry Classes Over the past year, staff with the Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA), along with WAPA’s Board of Directors, have been meeting with Fresno State representatives to discuss opportunities within the tree nut industry. From research opportunities within the industry, to internship/work experience positions available for students, Fresno State has made a concerted effort to connect with the industry. Through...

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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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