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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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