Tree NUTS are dry fruits or kernels enclosed in woody shells or hard husks, which in turn are generally covered by a thick, fleshy/fibrous outer husk that is removed during harvest. Similar products, such as groundnuts, sunflower seeds and melon seeds, although often used for similar purposes, are included with oil-bearing crops (see Chapter 6.).

FAO includes in this group only dessert or table nuts. Nuts that are used mainly for flavouring beverages and masticatory and stimulant nuts should be excluded. An exception is made for areca nuts and kola nuts, which FAO considers to be inedible nuts, but which are included with the nut and derived products group to be consistent with international trade classifications. Nuts used mainly for the extraction of oil or butter, (e.g. sheanuts) as well as nuts contained in other fruits (e.g. peaches) are excluded.

It should be noted that some countries report certain nut crops (chestnuts, pignolia nuts) with forestry products.

Production data relate to the weight of nuts in the shell or husk, but without the outer husk. The weight of the kernel contained in the nut ranges from as low as 30 percent for cashew nuts to as high as 80 percent in the case of chestnuts. The edible portion of nut kernels is, with the major exception of chestnuts, very rich in fat content at between 50 percent and 65 percent. Protein content makes up 15-20 percent and carbohydrate content is between 10 percent and 15 percent. Starch and saccharose are the main components of dry chestnuts, accounting for about 75 percent.

FAO covers ten primary nut crops. Each is listed below along with its code, its botanical name, or names, and a short description.

NUT PRODUCTS include shelled nuts, whole or split, and further processed products, including roasted nuts, meal/flour, paste, oil, etc.

Nut oils are not separately identified in the FAO classification; instead they are included under the heading "oil of vegetable origin nes" (see Chapter .). The most commonly marketed oils are almon oil and cashew nut oil and its derivative cardol.

Nuts and Derived Products

0216 BRAZIL NUTS Brazil, Para or cream nut (Bertholletia excelsa)  
0229 Brazil Nuts, Shelled Around 55% of the weight in shell.
0217 CASHEW NUTS Anacardium occidentale Produced mainly in East Africa, India and Brazil.
0230 Cashew Nuts, Shelled Around 25% of the weight in shell.
0220 CHESTNUTS Castanea spp.: C. vesca; C. vulgaris; C. sativa Produced mainly in Europe and Asia.
0221 ALMONDS Prunus amygdalus; P. communis; Amygdalus communis Produced mainly in Mediterranean countries, the United States and Asia.
0231 Almonds, Shelled Around 55% of the weight in shell.
0222 WALNUTS Jugland spp.: J. regia Produced in temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in the United States.
0232 Walnuts, Shelled Around 53% of the weight in shell.
0223 PISTACHIOS Pistacia vera Produced mainly in the Near East and the United States.
0224 KOLA NUTS kola, cola, Sudan cola nut (Cola nitida; C. vera; C. acuminata) Produced mainly in Africa. Kola nuts, containing 2.4 to 2.6% caffeine, are commonly chewed by the local population. Much used in Europe and America in the production of beverages.
0225 HAZELNUTS (FILBERTS) Corylus avellana Produced mainly in Mediterranean countries and the United States.
0233 Hazelnuts, Shelled Around 50% of the weight in shell.
0226 ARECA NUTS areca, betel nut (Areca catechu) Produced mainly in the Far East. Areca nuts are used mainly as masticatory. These nuts contain alkaloids (arecoline and arecaidine).
0234 NUTS NES Including inter alia: pecan nut (Carya illinoensis); butter or swarri nut (Caryocar nuciferum); pili nut, Java almond, Chinese olives (Canarium spp.); paradise or sapucaia nut (Lecythis zabucajo); Queensland, macadamia nut (Macadamia ternifolia); pignolia nut (Pinus pinea) Other nuts that are not identified separately because of their minor relevance at the international level. Because of their limited local importance, some countries report nuts under this heading that are classified individually by FAO.
0235 Prepared Nuts Mainly roasted, whether or not containing vegetable oils, salt, flavours, spices or other additives. Excludes prepared groundnuts, except when mixed with other nuts.

© FAO 1994

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