UC Delivers  |  ANR News  |  Site Map    
Postharvest Pistacio Information

Dept. of Plant Sciences, UC Davis

Summary Checklist for Harvesting Pistachios

  • May: Establish contract with harvester, hauler and processor. Selection of method of harvest and hauling in bin or bulk will depend upon distance to processor.
  • July: Make sure irrigation is up to 100% of tree need 
  • August: Start monitoring for early splits and third flight of NOW. 
  • September: Begin monitoring nuts for color change and easy dehiscence of hull.

Pistacio Processing Procedures

  1. Pistachios delivered in tared flatbed or bulk trailer are weighed and tagged for delivery fresh weight
  2. Temperature within the load is measured
  3. Nuts are dumped and conveyed over an air leg to remove debris
  4. 20-pound (9-kilogram) unhulled sample is separated for separate processing and grading
  5. Hulls are removed from nuts
  6. Blank nuts are separated by float tank
  7. Filled split and non-split nuts are dried to 5-7% moisture
  8. Nuts are stored at ambient temperature with forced air flow
  9. Split nuts are separated form non-split by needed picking drum
  10. Non-split are shelled or split mechanically
  11. Split nuts are stored by electronic color reflectance sorter
  12. Split nuts are hand graded to remove defects, debris
  13. Split nuts are salted; split nuts are roasted
  14. Split nuts are packaged and stored or shipped