ALMONDS - Delicate commodity easily damaged by moisture, heat, odors or contact with unclean goods, especially when shelled. If not sterilized before shipment may become infested with vermin when subjected to long voyages. Subject to a natural loss in weight.
Almonds are the single-seeded, plum-sized stone fruits of the almond tree (Rosaceae family). Almonds are native to the Middle East and Central Asia. The stone fruit encloses a kernel, the actual almond, which is approx. 2 cm long and covered in a light brown seed coat. The seed coat contains antioxidants, which protect the oil-rich almonds from penetration by atmospheric oxygen so preventing them from becoming rancid (oxidative rancidity).
Almonds are shell fruit (nut types). Because of their similar characteristics with regard to transport, particularly their high oil content, their requirements regarding care during storage and transport are the same as those of oil-bearing seeds/fruits.
- Sweet almonds (Prunus amygdalus dulcis): these also include the soft-shelled almond (Prunus amygdalus fragilis), which has a porous, highly fragile shell. Sweet almonds are generally of an oval, flattened or roundish shape, are tender and have a sweetish flavor.
- Bitter almonds (Prunus amygdalus amara): These are generally smaller and more pointed than sweet almonds and have an astringent, bitter flavor. Bitter almonds contain approx. 2 - 4% of the glycoside amygdaline, which, in the presence of water and the enzyme emulsion (e.g. in the human digestive tract), releases hydrocyanic (prussic) acid, which is harmful to human health: as few as 7 - 10 bitter almonds eaten raw can cause severe problems and may even be fatal to children. Boiling or baking of the bitter almonds drives off most of the hydrocyanic acid so that there is no need to fear any harmful effects from eating them once cooked.
- Mountain almonds: roundish, flatter and smaller than the other two types, unnotched, bitter flavor.
Almonds are harvested once their hull has opened and the green hull is immediately removed in order to prevent mold growth and the nuts are then dried in the sun or in dryers.
- 53 - 59%
- 54% soft-shelled almonds
- 40 - 55 %
- Commodity Name:
NUTS AND KERNELS