How Pistachio Nuts Are Harvested and Processed

The delicious pistachio nut this is a snack that can be described as fiddly and time-consuming but if you have the patience the effort is well worth it they're full of energy and bursting with flavor but where do we get them from you may not know this but the world's biggest pistachio producer is who ran they say money doesn't grow on trees but this tasty cash crop comes pretty close over two million people in Iran work in the pistachio business many of them in the plantations the autumn harvest produces between two and three hundred thousand tons every year the pistachio grows as a soft nut inside a hard shell when they're on the tree they look like grapes the nut can be eaten raw and it's said to be delicious however they don't travel very well which is why most of the pistachios we eat in Europe are dried once the raw pistachios which the production facility they need to be separated from the husks these machines can sort around 80 tons of nuts but loading them isn't very exciting work first the not-so run through grinders to break up the external husk this is then shaken off to separate out chaff from the nuts themselves the nuts are then bumped over a sieve to knock off any determined bits of husk the next machine pokes the nuts with tiny needles pistachio shells have to be open so people can get to the nut inside close nuts are rejected sometimes the needles miss bad nuts but these ladies help to catch the culprits that slip through what they're left with is enormous quantities of raw pistachios for the domestic Iranian market the nuts are spread out in the Sun unlike the UK vanna's resource a worm has plenty of it takes about two days to dry them out however global demand means some producers use these enormous drying tanks this speeds up the process to just 20 minutes now before the nuts can leave Iran they must be thoroughly checked pistachios can be spoiled by fungus which produces poisons called aflatoxins that believed to be carcinogenic or cancer-causing a sample from every harvest is sent to this state-of-the-art laboratory where they're crushed to a pulp which can then be tested the dilated pistachio juice is assessed in high-tech machinery pistachio industry in Iran is huge and the authorities are keen that nothing not even a tiny toxin does any harm to this successful business when the scientists are satisfied the pistachios can be sent onto the packing Department to keep the nuts as fresh as possible they are vacuum pack before they take the journey to Europe when they reach the factories here the first step is to double-check the nuts hygiene and food safety standards in Europe are far stricter than other parts of the world sticks stones or any other jaw breaking debris has to be removed the first stop is this space-age cleaner in this machine the nuts are shaken won't being blown around the rising air carries away any light material whilst the shaking drops any unwanted debris into a bin below in this form the pistachios are dried but still wore and unsalted the first step is a salt bath non ton of pistachios is mixed with 100 liters of salt water and then shaken like a martini it only takes about 15 minutes for the nuts to soak it all up they're then poured out the shaker and sent straight to the roasting ovens the notes don't spend very long in here ten minutes at 160 degrees Celsius is enough to roast them which brings out their delicious flavor pistachios contain a rich variety of vitamins and minerals beneficial to the health including potassium magnesium and vitamin b6 the nuts are divided up by weight and dropped into the bagging machine below they're sealed and sent to the stores so from the arid plains of the Iranian plantations to a cocktail bar near you the healthy and popular salt roasted pistachio nut
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