Pistachios in shell
Depending on the weather conditions harvesting for the production of pistachios in shell usually takes place at the end of September, when the kernels are ripe and the nut shells have opened naturally. The later the pistachio is being harvested, the riper it becomes, and therefore the bigger the kernel will be. The nuts are being harvested manually or mechanically and processed immediately after harvesting to guarantee the best quality.
Pistachios being used for the production of green kernels are being harvested approximately one month earlier, when the kernel is still very green, but little smaller and therefore the shell is still closed.
After harvesting at first the fruit flesh is being removed mechanically by rubber mills from the pistachios and they are placed into a water bath for seperation. The underdeveloped, damaged and blank pistachios (floaters
) float to the top, while the sound, well developed and therefore heavier pistachios (sinkers
) sink to the bottom. Only the sinkers
are processed further.
After the floater and sinker seperation the first drying takes place, which is done mechanically with hot air followed by a manual quality control, where damaged pistachios and pistachios with adhering hull are being seperated. The final drying is being done in silos afterwards. Traditionally the pistachios are being dried in the sun.
During the next production step the closed pistachios are seperated mechanically from the open ones. This seperation takes place in a turning pipe, which is covered all over with upright standing needles. The open pistachios are picked up by these needles and seperated from the closed ones. Approx. 90% of the pistachios open their shells by themselves, the balance remains closed.
To sort and grade the open pistachios according to their size they are transported over shaking sifts with holes of different sizes. The small pistachios drop through the small holes and the big ones through the big holes of the sift.
Finally the sorted and graded Pistachios are being manually controlled once more and pass a metal detector for safety reasons, before they are being packed in 50.0 kg polybags.
Now they are ready to be shipped to the export markets and to be roasted, salted and packed as a healthy snack.