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