ALL ABOUT ALMONDS

Almonds are the seeds of the fruits cultivated from the almond tree, The taste of almonds ranges from sweet to bitter and both are readily available in markets. The United States dominates the global production of almonds, producing 898,167 metric tons annually, with California is the primary producing region and harvesting time is from mid-August to October. 

In the Southern Hemisphere, Australia is the biggest almond producer, with 46,381 metric tons. They harvest almonds from February to April.

MAJOR VARIETIES

There are approximately 30 almond varieties produced in California orchards. Depend on size, shape, and “blanchability”, the majority of almond production in California falls into the following three major varieties: Nonpareil, Carmel and Mission.

Nonpareil

Nonpareil has the widest range of uses among
the marketing classifications. Nonpareil are easily blanched (skin is removed) and cut for processed forms. A thin outer shell and smooth kernel allow for easy, blemish-free processing. As a result, Nonpareil almonds are used anywhere an attractive appearance or a strong almond identification is important.

Carmel

Actually a member of the California type varieties, the Carmel has become popular enough to warrant its own classification. Carmel is a relatively long, narrow, large, light-colored kernel. A soft-shell variety, Carmel almonds are often used for blanching and roasting. 

Mission

Mission type almonds have a rich flavor, and their kernels are small, wide, and often plump. The kernel skin is generally darker than Nonpareil and wrinkled, which enhances salt and flavor adherence. Blanching is not as common for this type, but some varieties in this classification are blanchable.

 STANDARDS & GRADES 

Grades for natural almonds are voluntary minimum standards. The almond industry can supply almonds to customers’ unique specifications, both in terms of sizes and grades, based on the intended applications.

Fancy

Chips and scratches: 5%

Foreign materials: 0.05%

Split & broken: 1%

Other deffects: 2%

Ideal for food applications where the appearance of the almond is very important

Extra No. 1

Chips and scratches: 5%

Foreign materials: 0.05%

Split & broken: 1%

Other deffects: 4%

Ideal for food applications where the appearance of the almond is very important

No.1 (supreme)

Chips and scratches: 10%

Foreign materials: 0.05%

Split & broken: 1%

Other deffects: 5%

Typically used for whole almond applications or for further processing such as blanching and roasting.

Select sheller run

Chips and scratches: 20%

Foreign materials: 0.1%

Split & broken: 5%

Other deffects: 3%

Good choice for applications where the almonds with minimal sorting/processing can be incorporated with other ingredients. Also appropriate for further processing such as blanching, grinding, roasting, dicing, and slicing.

Standard sheller run

Chips and scratches: 35%

Foreign materials: 0.2%

Split & broken: 15%

Other deffects: 3%

Good grade for further processing such as blanching, dicing, grinding, or paste, particularly where a higher level of split and broken kernels is not a concern.

ALMOND SIZES

Calculated by the number of kernels in one ounce (28.35g)

18/20      20/22      23/25     25/27     27/30     30/32       32/34

MAJOR FORMS

Grades for natural almonds are voluntary minimum standards. The almond industry can supply almonds to customers’ unique specifications, both in terms of sizes and grades, based on the intended applications.

WHOLE

NATURAL OR BLANCHED

As the sizes of kernels

Natural, roasted or flavored snacks.

Embedded or enrobed in chocolate Ingredients for confectionery, energy bars, bakery.

Inputs for processing

SLICED

NATURAL OR BLANCHED

Regular: 1.1–1.4 mm

Thick: 1.5–1.8 mm

Thin: 0.7–1.0 mm
Extra Thin: 0.5–0.7 mm

Topping for salads Ingredient for cereal.

Coating for savory dishes.
Garnishing for baked goods, desserts.

SLIVERED

BLANCHED

Regular: 3.0–5.0 mm

Medium: 4.0–6.0 mm

Halves: Split cut

Roasted or flavored snacks Ingredient for baked goods, cereal.

Texture for confectionery.

Topping for prepared foods, salads

DICED

NATURAL OR BLANCHED

Large: 11.1 & 7.1 mm

Medium: 8.7 & 3.2 mm

Small: 4.8 & 3.2 mm

Fine: 3.2mm

Topping for dairy items, baked goods.

Coating for ice cream bars.
Filling for bakery or confectionery. Crust for meats, seafood.

MEAL

NATURAL OR BLANCHED

Coarse ground
Fine ground
 

Sauce thickener.
Ingredient and lling for confectionery.

Flavor enhancer in bakery.
Coating for fried foods.

ALMOND BENEFITS

Almonds have been called "the king of nuts." They are high in protein and unsaturated fat. They can be used in recipes, eaten raw, or roasted. 

Per ounce (28.35g) of almonds provide our body with

  • Only 160cal (8%DV)

  • 6g protein (12%DV)

  • 3g Dietary fiber (12%DV)

  • 7mg Vitamin E (35% DV)

  • 0.17mg Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) (9%DV)

  • 61mg Calcium (6%DV)

Boost Brain Health: contain a high amount of vital brain nutrient is Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) which have been shown to increase brain activity, resulting in new neural pathways and a decreased occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease.

Prevent Heart Diseases: The mono-unsaturated fats , protein and Potassium contained in almonds are instrumental in heart health. Vitamin E is an effective antioxidant and also reduces the risk of heart diseases, while the presence of magnesium in almonds can help avoid heart attacks.

Weight management: The dietary fiber in almonds also contributes to the sensation of feeling full, despite eating only a small amount.

 

Protect against diabetes: Almonds also help to reduce the reactionary rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals. 

Keeping them cold will further protect them from rancidity and prolong their freshness. In the refrigerator, almonds will keep for several months; while in the freezer, they can be kept for up to 2 year.

  • Store under cool and dry condition
    (<10°C and <65% relative humidity)

  • Almond moisture should be maintained at 6% or less.

  • Avoid exposure to strong odors as almond can absorb odors of other materials if exposed for prolonged periods.

  • If kept under cold conditions (<5°C and <65% relative humidity), whole natural almonds can be stored for about two years without significant loss in quality.

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