Pistachio Market update
New crop Fandoghi price (as basic price in market) reached $8.3/kg and it is raising $8.4/kg. Iran pistachio market is experiencing crop shortage these days as main farmers are supplying pistachio nuts gradually and as a result prices are going up gradually too.
Farmers` expectation of price increasing, China`s huge demand, and American pistachios high price are main reasons for increasing prices in Iran market.
Pistachio trees usually grow on traditional plantations so all the standard may have not met by growers and the orchards are mostly grown experience-based. The growers usually follow different harvesting methods in pistachio orchards in different regions. Pistachio growing and harvesting has a long history in some countries like Iran so experience plays an important role in growing. Some technical information was mentioned in our last published article how to grow pistachios . Some more information is going to be indicated in the present article in the follow of the previous one.
Pistachio harvesting should be done in specific time and it includes some procedures.
Pistachio harvesting time:
Pistachio trees blooming like other nuts, need a bit warm weather, it usually starts in late March after spending three-month dormant from December to February. First trimming pistachio trees usually do in late February to early March and the second one should be done after buds sprout, in mid-June to July. Female trees pollination happens by April wind and rapid seeds expansion begins by August first. Harvesting usually takes four to six weeks’ time which it starts in September. Pistachios grow inside a grape-like cluster. Hull is the outer skin of pistachio and its thickness is about 1.16 inches. Hull adheres tightly to the hard-inner shell until the nut is ripe. Pistachios are ready for harvesting while the hull color turns rosy from green and also they are easy to peel and split inside shell. The harvesting time is different in each area as it depends on climate and orchard location.
The most important period of time for pistachio growers is harvesting season, as the early or late harvesting may cause crop damages in quality or quantity. Harvesting procedure is as bellow:
- Crop picking
Crop picking starts when the pistachios ripen and pistachios tend to naturally fall off the tree as they grow in cluster like grapes. The crops are gathered by hand, net or some other means. In some regions like Iran, Turkey and Syria due to lack of space between trees and rows, laborers harvest pistachio clusters by hands. Most harvesters also use some shacking machineries to shake the branches and help nuts to fall off.
- Separating hull from hard shell
Picking up pistachios manually or by the help of shakers, they have to be carried to factories by trucks for processing.
The first step after being carried to factory is separating hull from hard shell. Removing external shells is done by machines, it may be done in two steps, around %95 of shell removing will be done by first machine, and the rest can be separated by another machine.
- Washing products
The shell-removed products should be washed in the next step. They are usually washed twice by a special machine.
- Drying crops
After washing pistachios, they need to be dried to reduce humidity and decrease moisture level of pistachio to around 25% as humidity causes faster crop deterioration. The can be dried in the sun or by driers.
- Separating cracked and closed nuts
Drying crops, all cracked and bad shaped should be separated and also closed mouth and open mouth will be separated too.
In this step, the crops should be spread on a concrete land in an open air and expose to the sunshine for 24 to 48 hours. They have to be supervised to be protected from birds and replace them every three to four hours to be ensured both sides were exposed to the sunshine. Sorting should be done again in this stage and bad colored and shaped have to be removed again.
The last stage is packing which usually is done in 50kg bags. So the harvesting procedure is done and the crops are ready to be transferred to market.
Some notes should be noticed in the harvesting and processing pistachios. They are as bellow:
- Crop harvesting should be done at the right time. Early or late harvesting, both are not recommended as they cause crop damages, but early harvesting is better than late one as it helps to prevent the occurrence of Aflatoxin.
- In case of high quantity of crops, harvesting speed is important, as a little delay will influence the crop quality of final product.
- All the procedure condition should be hygienic to prevent microbiologic problems.
Control Plant pests
Pistachio gardens are in danger of insect or pests. The insect occurrence is usually due to contamination inside the orchards or around them. Some strategies can be used to control plant pests and prevent any kind of contamination in garden. What usually growers do is as bellow:
- After pruning trees and cutting dry branches, gathering and burning them, not leaving them in garden
- Washing trees during summer and spring with cold water. It causes that trees be fresh and clean during hot days of summer.
- In case of insect appearing, using chemical anti pest to control them
- Choosing appropriate anti pest and dose based on the detected insects, agricultural experts should visit the orchards and introduce the most suitable anti pest.
- Using any kind of anti pest 45 days before harvesting is not allowed.
Growing pistachio trees needs enough information and experience along with patience. Harvesting the most and best products are determined by a combination of different factors.
They do not grow in any regions; the growing condition should be provided. Planting pistachio seeds, pistachio hybrid and irrigations also effects the amount of crop. It should be noticed that the first crops grow usually after seven years but peak production usually take 15 years.
Crop picking, separating hull from hard shell, washing products, drying crops, separating cracked and closed nuts, sorting, and packing are different steps of pistachio harvesting. The right time of harvesting is also one of the most important factors in quality and quantity of crops. Controlling pests and insects should be done by the help of expert`s knowledge and experience to prevent any kinds of contamination in orchards.
How to grow pistachio trees?
Pistachios are kind of small and slow-growing trees from the cashew family. They are originated in middle-east and Asia. Historically it is believed that pistachios trees were grown in Iran for the first time. Iran is also one of the main producers and exporters of pistachio worldwide. Pistachio growing is kind of technical activity that need enough information to succeed in harvesting most and best crops. It is tried to give some technical information about pistachio growing in the present article.
Pistachio Growing Condition
Pistachio trees are kind of resistant plants. Their ideal growing conditions are as bellow:
- Arid, semi-dried climate, not many plants can grow and tolerate this climate condition.
- Sunny position low humidity, that is why pistachio is a desert plant.
- well-drained soil, simply in this type of soil, water pooling and puddling is not needed because water drains at moderate rate.
- Hot and dry regions which include long and hot summer and cold but not frigid winters, the ranging temperature is between −10 °C (14 °F) in winter and 48 °C (118 °F) in summer. Pistachios are drought-tolerant and they are resistant to hot weather.
Pistachios are born from seeds and choosing appropriate seed is essential in pistachio planting. The seeds have to be raw, not salted or roasted and specific species of pistachios should be used for planting. In Iran mostly small Badami type is used.
In the next step, selected seeds have to be placed in a bowl of water for one to two days at room temperature. Soaking them in water, they have to be covered by wet cotton bags in warm and humid place (20 to 30 degrees). It takes around a week time that seeds begin to sprout. Then the strong sprouts would be transferred to garden. Now it is time to wait that sprouts begin to grow. They usually grow in the beginning of spring, when the weather becomes warmer. As soon as they appear on the ground, they are in danger of being eaten by animals, in order to protect them against animals, they should be covered by bushes. It should be mentioned that irrigation during this period of time is crucial. Every six to ten days they have to be watered
Pistachio hybrid should be done after two years, which it includes some steps and each steps needs appropriate time and procedure.
At first, growers have to prepare trees for hybrid. They have to cut trees branches in winter while the plants are dormant. New branches appear in spring.
Grafting with new branches of other species have to be done in the beginning of summer. The type of pistachio species for grafting depends on the region and the land. Two more years’ time is needed that first crops grow but they are not suitable for commerce. Soil, water, and climate conditions are main factors for harvesting good crops. In the ideal situation the best crops can be harvested in ten to fifteen years’ time. Pistachios like other nuts are alternate-bearing trees, so every alternate year heavy crops can be harvested. Winter is the appropriate time to apply fertilizer in pistachio orchards to encourage trees to grow. Both natural and chemical fertilizers can be used but in Iran mostly natural ones are used.
Pistachios are dioecious plants, it means that there are two separate male and female trees. The trees flowers are wind-pollinated so spring and summer breezes carry pollen from male to female trees. So when growers want to plant seeds, they have to plant both male and female trees. In average, for every ten to fifteen female trees, one male one is needed.
As it was mentioned above, pistachios are resistant and drought-tolerant plants. Although they are resistant to hot and dry weather, irrigation is essential for good crops. The result of some studies indicates that irrigation practice causes increasing fruit yield and also suppressing periodicity, the low fruit yield in alternating years. There are various methods of pistachio trees irrigation including: flume system, electric pumps or drop irrigation. Iran as one the oldest producers of pistachio in the world and also due to locating some deserts in Iran has a long history in water engineering. Extracting and transferring water from a long distance in desert was done by flume system, it was called Qanat in Iran and also it is still used by some growers. It was kind of advanced irrigation system that they may stretch around 90km long.
Although some growers are still using Qanat to irrigate their orchards, extracting water from deep wells by electric pumps is also using. Extracted water from wells by pumps and transfer it to the orchards by pipes is common in some regions too.
Drought and decreasing the level of underground water caused that some growers tend to use drop irrigation in Iran.
Irrigation timing is important in growing more crops. Scientifically it is recommended that 4 to 6 irrigation sessions are needed during the productive period. Young trees should be irrigated immediately after planting and 8 times during the first growing season. Growers usually trust their gained experiences for orchards irrigation. They perfectly know the amount and the time of orchards irrigation. During blooming season and middle summer, maximum amount of water is needed, so every 24 days, pistachios orchards should be irrigated. During winter it should be done every 45 days as trees need less water and also it is raining season in Iran. Irrigation should be avoided two weeks before harvesting time due to more vulnerable fruits to Aflatoxin and insects. The possibility of occurrence of Aflatoxin usually goes up in high moisture.
Pistachios life time
100 years’ life time is estimated for pistachios trees under suitable condition, it can reach to 300 years too. Seven to ten years is approximately required that trees reach production but peak production usually take 15 years.
This article tried to explain pistachio growing conditions in general. If you are interested in pistachio growing, you can grab some information, to get more details, you need to follow more scientific articles. Pistachios ideal growing condition, pollination, irrigation and life span were explained in the article. In the following article we are going to get more information about pistachios, in particular Iranian Pistachios.
Pistachios in general
Pistachios are kind of popular nuts and mostly known by people. Due to their health benefits, people are eager to have them and replace unhealthy snacks with them but in fact they are costly and not anyone can afford buying them regularly. Although pistachios are known for most of us, there are some regions that people may have never seen and heard about pistachios. In this article, it is tried to reply some common and basic questions about pistachios. Various questions, brief and simple replies are mentioned bellow:
- Are pistachios from Iran?
Central Asia, Western Asia, and Iran are the origin of Pistachios. They were hugely used as food, aphrodisiac, and medicine all over the world for a long time. Now Iran is the second top producer and exporter of pistachio worldwide after USA.
- What happens when you eat too many pistachios?
Although pistachios are nutrient nuts and have lots of health benefits, overeating of them, specifically salted or roasted type, may causes some health problems including; gain weight, potential high blood pressure, Allergic reaction, Kidney stone risk, Digestive problems, High manganese risk, Health risk of Pesticides and Insecticides, and Bacterium salmonella risk. Moderate consumption of pistachios has no bad effect on our health.
- Are pistachio shells good for anything?
Pistachio shell can be used as plant drainage. Salted pistachio shells also can deter slugs and snails by being placed around plant base. Mercury emissions pollution can be cleaned up by pistachio shells too.
- Why are pistachios so expensive?
Pistachio rates depend on many factors such as type, origin, the amount of crop each year, political or economic situations, etc. but the main reason of pistachio high price is full-bearing time. It takes around 15-20 years’ time after planting a tree to reach full-bearing.
- Can pistachios kill you?
Bacterium salmonella is kind of harmful bacteria for our health. if the pistachios are contaminated by bacterium salmonella, they may be fatal for elderly and infants. If pistachios are roasted properly, they are safe to eat as bacterium salmonella can be killed by roasting pistachio properly.
- Which country has the best pistachios?
Based on statistics in 2017/2018, two top producers of pistachios are US accounted for %47 and Iran %38. US pistachios look nicer than Iran`s but the taste of Iranian pistachios is more delicious than US ones.
- How many pistachios should I eat a day?
One or two handfuls of pistachios (around 1.5 to 3 ounces) is recommended to be eaten per day. More is possible too but overtaking of pistachios may cause some health problems.
- What country is the largest producer of pistachio nuts?
Iran, US, Turkey, China, Syria, Italy, Greece, and Afghanistan are the main producers of pistachios worldwide. More than %80 0f pistachios producing is done by US, Iran, and Turkey.
- What are the best tasting pistachios?
Pistachios are in different flavors such as salty, chilly, vegetable, sumac, lemon-salt, vinegar, etc. Various flavors also can be prepared based on the customers` requests. Choosing the best tasting pistachios depends on anyone’s taste. As an example lemon-salt is popular among people especially with drinking bear. Salty types are also common but high consumption should be avoided for anyone who is suffering from high blood pressure.
- Are there different types of pistachios?
There are about 90 different types of pistachios in Iran. They mostly have local names. Most common types are as bellow:
- Iranian long pistachios including: Akbari, Momtaz, Badami, Ahmad Aghaei.
- Iranian round Pistachios including: Kaleh Ghouchi (Jumbo), Fandoghi
- Green kernel and peeled pistachio
- Slivered pistachio
- How much do pistachios cost?
On the whole pistachios are the costliest nuts. The price of pistachios depends on the type, size, origin, and some unpredictable situations. There are various types of pistachios and also different prices.
- Why is a pistachio green?
The green color of plants, vegetables, and also pistachios comes from chlorophyll. It is a natural pigment found in leaves too. The climate, growing conditions and harvesting time also effect the pistachio color.
- Where did the word pistachio come from?
“From Italian pistacchio (1590s), from Latin pistācium (“pistachio”), from Ancient Greek πιστάκιον (pistákion), from πιστάκη (pistákē, “pistachio tree”). Of Iranian origin. Compare Kurdish pisteq, Persian پسته (pista), Middle Persian pstk’ (pistag, “pistachio nut”), Old Armenian պիստակ (pistak) (from Iranian).”
- Can you eat raw pistachios?
Raw pistachios are nutrient-packed nuts which can be used as a snack. they are good source of minerals, fiber, protein and vitamins. You can replace unhealthy snacks with pistachios.
- Do pistachios contain melatonin?
Pineal gland in our body produces hormone named melatonin. Their function is regulating internal biological clock in our body and also controlling daily sleep cycles. Pistachios are great source of melatonin, about 660 nanograms in per gram, more than other foods.
- What are pistachio sizes?
Pistachios are in different sizes. The number of pistachios-in-shell in one ounce is the criteria for pistachio sizes. There are various sizes, including: 18/20, 20/22, 22/24, 24/26, 26/28, 28/30, 30/32, 32/34. As an example, pistachio size 18/20 indicates that there are 18 to 20 pistachios in one ounce. The less number pistachios in an ounce, the higher quality of pistachios and bigger size.
- What is the best time to eat pistachios?
It is recommended to take pistachios in the evenings because they are good source of energy and boost up our stamina and immunity after a hard workday.
- Can you eat pistachio skin?
Pistachio nuts are covered by a thin skin which is edible. Sometimes pistachio kernels can be used as an ingredient to make food, sweet, ice-cream, etc. in that cases skin should be removed.
- Are pistachios poisonous?
Aflatoxin, as a dangerous chemical may causes some health problems. It can be found in some mistreated and poorly cultivated pistachios and led to disease breakout in some regions.
- Do pistachios help you sleep?
Pistachios are fully packed with protein, vitamin B6, and magnesium. All these substances are useful for better sleep. Also pistachios are good source of melatonin that regulates sleep.
Most common questions people may face about pistachios are answered in this article. It is tried to give simple and brief replies to these queries in order to increase general information about pistachios.
Pistachios as a great source of various nutrients, are hugely consumed all over the world as a healthy food and snack. Pistachios are mostly grow in Iran and they have traditional uses as a medicine because they have lots of health benefits. Overtaking of them may causes some health problems too but moderate uses have lots of health benefits for us. This article presents nutrition facts of pistachios and also their side effects.
Nutrition facts of pistachio:
Pistachio nutrition facts are mentioned bellow based on one ounce (28 grams):
- Calories, 159
Per serving of pistachio includes 159 calories. Calories are source of energy which are essential for health. Among this amount, 116 calories are from fat. Although there is a reputation that nuts are high-fat food, scientific research indicates that type of fat is more important than the amount of fat.
Total fat of each serving is 13 grams, which %90 are healthy fat, including:
Saturated Fat, 1.7g
Polyunsaturated Fat, 3.5g
Monounsaturated Fat, 7g
Trans fat, 0g
- Saturated fats benefits:
They have great benefits for heart and circulatory system. Pistachios include Stearic and Lauric Acid and they can regulate cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular disease by reducing levels of lipoprotein.
- Polyunsaturated Fat benefits:
Reducing heart disease risk by having low LDL (bad) cholesterol. Cholesterol as a soft and waxy substance can cause clogged or blocked blood vessels. Polyunsaturated Fat causes lower LDL cholesterol.
- Monounsaturated Fat benefits:
Reducing the risk of heart disease and inflammation, also helping with weight loss.
- Trans fat benefits:
Raising LDL cholesterol levels and lowering HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, also they are associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Based on what mentioned above, pistachios are one of the lowest in fat in compare of other nuts. They are also free from Trans-fat as they are unhealthy fat.
- Sodium, 3 mg
Per serving of pistachio includes 0.3 mg Sodium. In case of salted or roasted verities, it may reach to 121 mg of sodium. Heart disease and high blood pressure may be increased by using too much sodium. The benefits of sodium are as bellow:
- Sodium benefits:
Helping body`s fluid balance control, sending nerve impulses and effecting muscle function. High blood pressure can be avoided and lowered by consuming less mount of sodium in diet.
- Potassium, 291mg
All nuts include some potassium, but the highest amount is for pistachio. The other high potassium nuts are: almonds, cashew, peanut, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and chestnuts. Take a glance at potassium benefits bellow.
- Potassium benefits:
Regulating fluid balance nerve signals and muscle contractions. It also reduces blood pressure and water retention. stroke, osteoporosis and kidney stones can also be prevented by having high-potassium diet.
- Carbohydrate, 7 g
About 8 grams of carbohydrate in our body can be provided by a serving of pistachio, and also %12 of the daily value of fiber. Pistachios also are good sources of plant protein and healthy fats. To know more about carbohydrate, read the following paragraph.
- Carbohydrate benefits:
It is such as fuel for kidney, heart, brain, central nervous system and muscle. Carbohydrate includes fiber that aids indigestion and helps feel full and keep blood cholesterol levels in check.
- Dietary fiber 3 g
Pistachios are great source of fiber. Our body`s required amount of fiber can be provided by pistachio, it is about %12 of daily value. The benefits of dietary fiber are as bellow:
- Dietary fiber benefits:
Preventing stroke, diabetes, obesity, coronary heart disease, hypertension, and certain gastrointestinal disease by having dietary fiber diet. Lowering blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels.
- Sugar, 2 g
Due to low glycemic index in pistachios, they do not increase blood sugar sharply. Having pistachio regularly, may reduce diabetes risk and blood sugar level. Even significant drops in insulin levels and blood sugar were experienced by people who were suffering from prediabetes. They ate 2 ounces of pistachios every day. Sugar benefits includes:
- Sugar benefits:
Essential for brain health, lowering blood pressure, decreasing heart attack risk and making us less likely to develop dementia.
- Protein, 7 g
Pistachios are good source of plant protein. Protein as one of the main required substances in our body, has many benefits, including:
- Protein benefits:
Main building block of muscles, bones, blood, skin and cartilage, making hormones, enzymes and other body chemicals, being used to repair and build tissues.
Pistachios as a healthy nut are also great source of various vitamins including, vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin B6, vitamin D, and Cobalamin or Vitamin B 12. Benefits of each one are mentioned bellow.
- Vitamin A benefits: %2.9
Protecting eye from night blindness and age-related decline, lowering risk of certain cancer, supporting a healthy immune system, reducing risk of acne, supporting bone health, promoting healthy growth and reproduction.
- Vitamin C benefits: %2.7
Vital for development, repair and growth of all body tissues, involving in body functions such as absorption of iron, wound healing, formation of collagen, the immune system, and maintenance of bones, teeth and cartilage.
- Vitamin B6 benefits:
Promoting brain health and reducing Alzheimer`s risk, preventing clogged arteries, reducing heart disease risk, improving mood and reducing depression symptoms, treating nausea during pregnancy, treating and preventing anemia by aiding hemoglobin production, being useful in treating PMC symptoms.
- Cobalamin or Vitamin B 12 benefits:
Forming red blood cell and preventing anemia, preventing major birth defects, supporting bone health and preventing osteoporosis, reducing macular degeneration risk, improving mood and depression symptoms, benefiting brain by preventing the loss of neurons.
- Vitamin D benefits:
Maintaining teeth and bones health, supporting brain, immune and nervous system health, regulating insulin levels and diabetes, and also supporting cardiovascular health and lung function.
- Calcium, %3
Almonds include the highest amount of calcium among nuts. Pistachio also contains about %3 of calcium in each serving. It can be concluded that pistachios have effects on bone density. Other beneficial results of calcium are mentioned bellow:
- Calcium benefits:
Building and maintaining strong bones, being needed for muscles, heart, and nerves to work properly. Calcium along with Vitamin D protects our body against cancer, diabetes, and blood pressure. It is good for bone health.
- Iron, %6.2
In compare of all popular nuts varieties, pistachio contains the highest amount of iron. It is about %6.2 per serving, nearly 4 times more than almonds or cashews. Iron`s benefits include:
- Iron benefits:
Being needed for immune system function, hemoglobin boosting and anemia treating, eliminating fatigue and its sources.
Health benefits of pistachio
- Helpful to lose weight
As it was mentioned above, although pistachios are a high-fat, calorie-dense nuts, they are associated with weight lost or maintaining weight, along with the reduction in body mass index (BMI). That is due to type of fat, not the amount of fat.
Based on some studies, people who were eating pistachio as an afternoon snack for 12 weeks, had great decrease in MBI and also reducing in triglyceride levels, in compare of a group who had the same amount of pretzels.
In the other case, the result of 6-month study presents decreasing in waistline and reduction in LDL-cholesterol levels among people who provided %20 of daily calories from pistachios.
Also it was shown in a behavioral study, that consumption in-shell pistachio provides %41 fewer calories than shelled pistachio.
- Gut health benefits
Prebiotics is type of fiber which feed good bacteria in gut. As pistachios are good source of prebiotics, having pistachios led to increase the number of good bacteria that fights short-chain fatty acid and increases lactic acid bacteria in gut. Consumption 3 ounces of pistachio daily increases helpful gut bacteria, much more than having almonds instead.
- Beneficial for heart health
Pistachios are nutrient-packed nuts, that most of mentioned minerals have positive effects on heart health. Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels can be reduced by consuming pistachio daily. Pistachios improve HDL cholesterol level and reduce blood pressure so they prevent heart disease.
It is also reported that the risk of cardiovascular disease will be reduced by having two portions of pistachio each day.
- Blood sugar balance
Pistachios may lower the blood sugar and the risk of diabetes because they have low glycemic index. The result of one study presented that having pistachio with high carbohydrate food may reduce blood sugar and glucose levels.
Fasting blood sugar can be reduced by consuming 25 grams of pistachio as a snack twice a day.
Therefore, if you are interested to control your blood sugar, you can easily add pistachio to your diet.
- Lower Gestational Diabetes
Some pregnant women suffer from gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. It causes high blood glucose that can affect both mother and baby health. based on the result of a study among pregnant women, having pistachio during pregnancy will significantly lower in blood sugar and insulin levels.
So the benefit of consuming pistachios during pregnancy is proved by scientific research.
- Beneficial for eye health
Pistachios as a rich source of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are good for eye health because they reduce the chances of developing AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and cataracts. One of the main reasons of blindness in the United States is cataracts and AMD.
To prevent developing of these eye disease, having a healthful diet including pistachio is recommended.
- Lowering cancer risk
The impact of fiber on reduction of cancer risk is proved scientifically. Pistachios are high fiber nuts, so they may reduce the cancer risk, specially colon cancer.
Some researches show that roasted pistachios have no effect on colon cancer risk.
- Help Erectile Dysfunction
Quality of life in men depends on some reasons. Erectile dysfunction is mentioned as a main reason of decreased quality life among men. Also there is a link between heart attack and impotence.
As pistachios are high in antioxidants, and antioxidants have a Viagra-like effect of increasing nitric oxide production, having three to four handful of pistachios daily for three weeks improves blood flow through the penis and significantly firmer erections.
Therefore, the pistachio effect on sexual function is represented by some studies.
- Improving Brain Function
To be more focused and attentive at work is related to some factors, such as eating protein, fiber, grains, getting more sleep, etc. Loma Linda University (LLU) did a study and they found having nuts regularly improve brain function and brainwave frequencies which are related to learning, memory, and cognition. Pistachio produced greatest gamma waves compared with other nuts, which are essential for learning, perception, information retention, and cognitive processing.
Having pistachio daily causes our brain to work better and improve our concentration.
- Prevent early aging
Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, and copper are essential minerals to protect and improve skin and hair health. Vitamin E helps skin to stop aging and protect it from UV damage. Vitamin B6 improves overall health of hair and skin and copper is needed to produce skin elastin. All these contents are found in pistachios, so pistachios are helpful to preserve skin health.
Side effects of pistachio
Pistachios are rich sources of nutrients and they have lots of health benefits, but at the same time, there could have some side effects and risk if we have too many pistachios, specially roasted and salted types. Their side effects are mentioned briefly in bellow:
- Gain weight
As it was mentioned above, pistachios are helpful for weight management, but due to their delicious taste specifically salted type, may cause gaining weight instead. If you want to enjoy pistachios as a healthy snack, please mind taking a handful of it daily.
- Potential high blood pressure
Our body requires about 2000 mg of sodium each day, but too much sodium is dangerous for our health. it causes hypertension and blood pressure and increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Allergic reactions
If you are suffering from nuts allergy, you should avoid having pistachios, as you are most likely to be allergic to pistachios. Feeling itchy skin, pain, or in some cases difficulty in breathing are most common symptoms of nuts allergy.
- Kidney Stone Risk
Anyone who is suffering from kidney disease can consume moderate amount of pistachios, but there is a risk of development of calcium oxalate and cystine kidney stones in case of consuming high quantity of pistachios.
- Digestive problems
The benefits of dietary fibers in pistachios are proved for stomach and digestive system. Pistachios also contain “Fructan” which may bother who are allergic to it so it can rise digestive problems.
- High Manganese Risk
Although manganese is helpful for health, its overeating causes some health risk. Consumption of high manganese food is not recommended for individuals who are suffering from chronic liver diseases, parkinsonism, polycythemia, and hyper manganesemia.
- Health risk of Pesticides and Insecticides
Pesticides and Insecticides are mostly used in pistachio orchards to protect them from pests’ attack. Nausea and other allergic reactions are the symptoms of having pistachios which are highly exposed to pesticides and insecticides.
- Bacterium Salmonella Risk
Bacterium salmonella is kind of harmful bacteria for our health. if the pistachios are contaminated by bacterium salmonella, they may be fatal for elderly and infants. If pistachios are roasted properly, they are safe to eat as bacterium salmonella can be killed by roasting pistachio properly.
Pistachios as one of the nutrient nuts have lots of health benefits for all people, including heart health, gut health, weight management, eye health, blood sugar balance, controlling diabetes risk, lowering cancer risk, sexual function, improving brain function and prevent aging. Actually overeating of them is not good for our health and may causes some problems. Therefore, moderate consumption of pistachios has no bad effects for our health.
Whenever anyone hears the name of pistachio, long or round dried nut comes to their mind. Recognizing different types and species is kind of hard for them. Even though there are many pistachio experts and business people who are earning money from pistachio business annually, but some of them may know about various species and benefits of them. In this article, it is tried to give some basic information about pistachio species and usages of each one and Iranian pistachio genera in particular.
Pistachio Genera and Species
The anacardiaceae family, also known as cashew family includes about 70 genera and over 600 species. “Pistacia” (scientific name of Pistachio) as a genus of flowering plants contains around 20 species and among them five are more popular, including: P.Vera, P.Atlantica, P.Terebinthus, P.Khinjuk and P.Terebinthus. the specifications of genus “pistacia” species include: being evergreen and deciduous resin-bearing bushes, also xerophytic trees which grow to 10 m tall.
Among these wide varieties of species, three of them are naturally in Iran: P.Vera, P.Khinjuk stocks, and P.Atlantica Desf. P.Atlantica includes three sub spices and P.Vera is the only genus which has commercial use in huge amount. Rootstock for P.Vera is mostly from the other species.
Parts of Tree and Their Benefits
Each tree includes different parts that all are useful. Fruit, leaves, resin and aerial part are different parts of pistachio plants and each one can be used for various purposes. Lots of studies have ever been done to prove the benefits of pistachio fruits in particular and also other parts. Usages of these species in different fields have been considered in scientific studies. Nowadays they are hugely used in traditional medicine, pharmacological activities, hepatoprotectives activities and also beneficial effects in gestrointemical disorders. As an example, mastic also called as Arabic and Yemen gum, is obtained from the mastic tree, devoted to the resin of P.Lentiscus. It is an example of pharmacological activity.
Food industry is also a main field of using these species. Food additive are mostly consumed from P.vera nuts. To make coffee-like drinks or snack food, P.terebinthus fruits are used and also food colorants are made of P.Lentiscus species fruit.
As it was mentioned above, different plant parts are used for different purposes. Not only the purpose depends on parts of plants, but also its region is essential too.
P.lentiscus as the most common species grow in different regions. Based on statistic, its resin is used in medicine for variety of treatment. It is mostly used in Iran as breath deodorizer, and gastrointestinal ailments, Gum tissue strengthener, brain and liver tonic. It is also proved that that resin of P.lentiscus has been used for around 5000 years.
In case of P.atlantica, it is reported that different parts of it, specifically resin, are hugely using in Iran as a treatment for kidney disease, digestive and hepatic. Its fruit is utilized in Iran as Antidiarrheal, its aerial part in Veterinary, and its resin as a treatment of huge number of health problem including: stomach, liver and kidneys tonic, appetizer, phlegm dissolver, mouth freshener, antiseptic, gastrointestinal disorders, Peptic ulcer, gum tissue strengthener, as chewing gum, astringent, laxative, demulcent, diuretic, emmenagogue, carminative, visceral inflammation, scabies, stomach, gastrointestinal disorders, and motion sickness.
Different parts of P.terebinthus species are using in some countries such as Greece, Iran, Jordan, turkey and Spain. The smoke of its resin is usually used as air antiseptic and purifier in Iran. Pistachio fruit which is used all over the world is P.Vera species fruit. It used cultivated and commercially traded in Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Syria, Spain, Italy, in Middle East including Iran, and Afghanistan, and United States. Iranians are used to consuming different parts of P.khinjuk,P.Vera, P.lentiscus, P.atlantica and P.terebintus as a traditional treatment and remedy, as an example The P.Vera nut shell is mostly used in Iran as Sedative, tonic and antidiarrheal, and its fruit as food. Areal part of P.khinjuk has veterinary use. Brain and gastrointestinal disorders alongside wound healing can be treated by the gum resin of P. terebinthus, P. lentiscus, P. khinjuk, and P. atlantica. Except P.Vera fruit, the other species fruit are used as a liver, heart, kidney and respiratory system disorders remedy and P.vera fruit kernel is utilized as brain, stomach, cardiac and hepatic tonic. Also Iran is the second biggest exporters and producers of Pistachio nut in the world. Historical reports indicate that pistachio was firstly used as a food around 7000 B.C.
Phytochemical analyses of pistachio species identified different compounds. One of the main constituent of various part of pistachio is essential oil. It is driven from different parts including twigs, galls, flowers, ripe and unripe fruit, resin, leaves and leaf-buds. The content of essential oil is varied in quality and quantity. What makes differences between them depends on various items including time of harvesting, climate condition, geographical origin, species of plant and its part, and sex of cultivars. There are around 63 compounds with the structure of Monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, and volatile oil based on the plant part and species. Traditional appliance of mentioned species is also proved by phytochemical studies. Among all formation of essential oil, triterpenes found in resin and also monoterpens are the most plentiful composition which are driven from different parts of given species. To find different chemotypes of pistachio, some chemotaxonomic markers can be used, which essential oil components might be worthful. therapeutic results of isolated part are proved and as a result terpenoids including mono, di-, and triterpenoids have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. Effective antioxidant and anticancer activities are also associated with the high amount of flavonoids and phenols.
The genus Pistacia L found as a great source of medicinally molecules scientifically based on pharmacological studies on some pure metabolites, crude plant part and extracts.
P. atlantica, P. vera, P. terebinthus and P. khinjuk. And in particular P. lentiscus were used as studied species to investigate their antioxidant effects. The results show anthocyanins, flavonoids and other phenolic compounds have preventive results on treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Iranian pistachios deep view
Iran is located in semi-arid region of the earth and water supply has always been one of the concerns of Iranian pistachio producers.
Over the past half century, underground water levels have dropped significantly in Iranian pistachios garden, last year’s rainfall in Iran totaled 154 mm, while the average rainfall in Iran over the past 50 years was 226 mm.
Also, the average rainfall in the past 11 years was 195 mm, which clearly shows that Iranian pistachios orchard has been experiencing a significant drop in rainfall over the past eleven years, which has led to lower ground water levels.
In some places like Kerman, one of the most important centers for pistachio production in Iran, the average rainfall in the last 50 years was 122 mm, but last year only 51.3 mm of rainfall in the province precipitated, causing the withering few gardens in some province .
This year the rainfall was incredibly good; in the whole Iran 323 mm and in Kerman 161 mm rain,
It is noteworthy that rain is still possible.
This has been a great pleasure for pistachio farmers and also has led to an increase in groundwater levels.
2-Iranian pistachios Bearing And non Bearing Area :
According to the latest official statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture, the bearing amount of pistachio garden in Iran is currently about 376,000 hectares, and the amount of non-bearing gardens of pistachios is about 102,000 hectares.
This increase in gardens was mostly found in places other than Kerman, especially in provinces that have rainfall and good soil and climate conditions.
The statistics on “bearing and non-bearing” of Iranian pistachio trees in 2009 and 2016 were as follows.
Bearing and non-bearing pistachio farms in Iran (hectare)
As shown in table above in 2009, 64 percent of Iran’s bearing pistachios were in Kerman, while seven years later in 2016 it reached to 53%. Also, the share of non-bearing pistachio in Kerman has risen from 24.5 percent in 2009 to 13.4 percent in 2016. These statistics clearly shows that the concentration of pistachio planting has been transmitted from Kerman to the other parts of Iran.
3-Cold and hail:
In the past year, cold has two effects on pistachio performance
Different pistachio trees for proper fruiting require a certain number of cold weather hours in winter, while in the last year, in some areas, this did not require adequate amounts in the winter, which reduced crop production and caused a large loss of Iran pistachio sprouts.
This year, pistachio trees have experienced better conditions, and most of pistachio trees reached to their cold weather hours’ needs.
Frost and hail:
during the spring of last year, when pistachio trees blossomed, over some nights temperature dropped below zero in many areas, caused many blossoms to fall, result of those night was decline in Iranian pistachios production.
Also, spring hail problems were also other factors that caused the blossoms to fall in some parts.
Fortunately this year, most of the areas were not frozen.
But hail caused a lot of damage in some of the important areas of Kerman province, more damage caused to the Fandoghi type of pistachio.
4- US economic sanctions
Last year, the United States imposed the most severe sanctions against Iran. The sanctions do not include food, but because of fears of possible US punishment, most foreign banks cut their ties with Iran and refuse to cooperate and transfer money to Iran. As a result, exporters encountered some problems, while Iranian pistachio exporters received their money mainly through exchanges, intermediaries, other countries or importing goods instead of pistachios.
US sanctions have partly affected the operation of sending Iranian pistachios to places like Canada and has increased the cost of sending pistachios to these markets,
But many countries, such as the UAE, which are available by small ships, continue to operate their regular services; ships to destinations in China and India, which are the main targets of Iran’s pistachios, are still ongoing.
A few days ago, Iran’s Chabahar port was exempted from sanctions by the United States government, which is good news for Iranian pistachio exporters, this port will provide special services to the Indian market, which will be valuable for Iranian exporters.
There were other problems with shipping last year,
Truck drivers strike. Last year, truck drivers struck several times.
This caused the delivery of some orders to be delayed, fortunately, the current situation is normal.
Also, many destinations, such as Europe and Russia, are also available through land transport. In general,
US sanctions on land and sea transport in Iran have not had a significant impact on Iran’s pistachio exports.
Iranian pistachio exporters have been mainly involved with domestic problems.
During the past three years, the Central Bank of Iran has repeatedly changed its export regulations and directives, which has caused widespread problems for exporters of pistachios over the past year.
The good news is that a number of pistachio producers, during a meeting with government officials last week . They succeeded in making changes to the export-related instructions to make pistachio exports simpler.
Probably, these changes will increase the speed of Iranian pistachio exports to the rest of the world.
7- Iranian currency exchange rate
The exchange rate of the Iranian currency (Rials) against the dollar has fluctuated over the past year . This caused confusion among exporters and farmers to determine the price of pistachios . Therefore couldn’t plan to have long-term export of pistachios.
8- Iranian pistachios ending season stock
A large number of farmers refused to sell all their pistachios crop because of Constant exchange rate fluctuations.
The pistachio harvest season will come in 3 months . Evidences shows that Iran pistachios will have good amount of crop for the new season.
So Farmers now are supplying the rest of their pistachio products to the market , which has increased the supply of pistachios and a declined its prices for now.
pistachio wholesale price in iran
iranian pistachios for sale
pistachio 1kg price
pistachio prices 2018
iranian pistachios amazon
pistachio price per kilo in india
pistachio price per kilo 2019
Iranian pistachios Prospects for boosting production for the coming new season
In recent years, several factors such as water scarcity, Lack of pistachio trees cold weather need in winter. Also, freezing of trees at flowering time, reduced the production of Iranian pistachios. But the most important factor in reducing the production of Iranian pistachios has been the reduction of rainfall and shortage of water resources in recent years . Good news is this year game changed . In the spring of this year 2019, Iran has had incredible growth in rainfall . just one week raind was equal to last 3 years rain.
In some areas, for one or two days of the spring, the temperature dropped below zero degrees at night and causing damage to some Iranian pistachios trees , Most damage reported for the Fandoghi pistachio trees.
Report for 2017-2018 pistachio
According to reports from different regions of Iran ,It is estimated that Iranian pistachios tree yield will be more than 50% of their production crop capacity this year(2019) And like 2 years ago, it is expected that Iran will have about 250,000 tons of pistachio
The global production of pistachios is expected to hit more than 165,000 tons last year from 2019 to 2018 to 814,000 tons. Turkey and the United States hit the record in pistachio production, thus offsetting a sharp decline in Iranian pistachios output. With a significant increase in supply, global consumption is expected to reach unprecedented levels of 743,000 tons. However, global exports may drop by 50,000 over the past year due to a shortage of Iranian pistachios .
Last year was bad for Iranian pistachios but good news will com.
Iranian pistachios production has been 173,000 tons less than the previous year (2017-2018), reaching 52,000 tons in 2018-2019.
According to the Iranian Pistachio Association; the unheard-of heat of the spring season in Kerman province caused a severe fall of flower buds in this important region of Iranian pistachios production. Iran’s exports to China, the European Union and Turkey are expected to drop from 150 thousand tons last year (2017-2018) to 50 thousand tons in 2018-2019
Following an increase in pistachio cultivation in the United States, pistachio production in the United States amounted to 450,000 tones. It comes from the Pistachio Executive Committee, which records pistachio recording and sales data annually. US exports to China, the European Union and Canada increased.
By reducing the competitiveness of Iran, it is forecasted that US exports to other countries will reach to 250 thousand tons this year.
Turkey’s pistachio production reached 240 thousand tons this year. A large percentage of the Turkish product is consumed inside the country. So there will be no significant increase in exports.
The pistachio imports to China are projected to decline by around 100,000 tons this year due to reduced exports of pistachios from Iran. Despite China’s new customs tariffs on American pistachio,
Exports of pistachios to China will increase, followed by a similar trend.
The European Union:big buy Iranian pistachio VS Us pistachio
The European Union (28 countries) is the largest target for the export of tree nuts from the United States, with 32% of the total US produced in 2017,Also Its big in buy Iranian pistachio.
The share of East Asian countries was 27% in imports of tree nuts and 12% in the Middle East.
In 2017, the value of exports of nuts to the European Union reached $ 2.7 billion;
Almond (dry in shell and kernel) $ 1.5 billion, dry pistachios ($ 44.6 million) and walnuts worth $ 344 million.
Within the European Union, the most important destinations for American nuts are as follows: Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, accounting for 63% of total imports into Europe.
The United States is the largest supplier of tree nuts to Europe. In 2017, the share of the source in the European market was 37%.
Turkey has a second share of the European market (20%), followed by Vietnam, Chile, and India, and almond is still the main commodity, with a share of the total import of nuts to the European Union of 22%.
The main buyers of tree nuts: food processing and nuts industry
Almonds are used more as an ingredient in the production of marzipan, nougat, toron (spanish specialties for Christmas), other sweets and pastries. European growers use pistachios and walnuts for use in ice cream and confectionery.
The European Nutrition and Nutrition Industry is constantly striving to offer new products and methods for consuming more nuts.
However, it is not easy to introduce new products in traditional markets like Spain and Italy.
In these markets, consumers often prefer familiar food products.
Because of the large European marketplace, the focus of food retailers has been to develop strategies for the production of new value added products to sell more commodities in bulk.
They also try to showcase the nutritional value and benefits of tree fruit through new promotional campaigns and packaging
Expansion of trade in the EU market
Since the EU is the main destination for exporting tree beans, American exporters are always looking to expand their trade with these countries.
Trade fairs are a golden opportunity to know about this market and meet potential importers. Some of the major trade fairs in Europe that deal with tree plants are:
Tree nuts fair in European union
|France, Paris||21-25 oct2018||SIAL|
|Germany, Berlin||6-8 Feb 2019||FRUIT LOGISTICA|
|Germany, Nuremberg||13-16 Feb 2019||BIOFACH|
|Germany, Cologne||5-9 Oct 2019||ANUGA|
|Germany, Frankfurt||27-29 Oct 2018||HEALTH INGREDIENTS|
|Switzerland ,Geneva||17-19 May 2019||VITAFOODS|
|Spain, Barcelona||17-28 Jun 2019||SNACKEX|
|France, Paris||3-5 Dec 2019||FOOD INGREDIENTS|
|Spain, Barcelona||20-23 Apr 2020|
To exporters who have recently entered the food business, it is recommended to refer to the FAIRS reports (including standards and regulations for the import of food and agriculture to the European Union) for more information on EU food regulations and familiarizing them with market opportunities.
American activists in the European Union
Associations such as the California Almond Alliance (ABC), The American Pistachio Association (APG) and the Cervical Cancer Commission (CWC) are always seeking to develop business strategies in the European Union market.
These business associations or industry activists, in collaboration with agricultural services offices throughout Europe, are always seeking to increase the market opportunities for tree vegetables.
Pistachios in Italy are a traditional product, especially in Sicily (Bronte Region), which supplies 90% of Italian pistachio.
In recent years, pistachio production has also expanded to some extent in other areas in Sicily and Basilicata.
In these areas newer and more efficient gardens are built.
Bianca (or Napoleon) is the main pistachio in Italy, which is usually harvested in September.
Since 2004, the European Commission has awarded the Brontot Pistachio with a PDO (protected designation of origin), distinguishing it from other varieties of pistachios in the world.
Spanish consumer interest in pistachios is on the rise, as well as pistachio production in Spain, which is undergoing rapid growth.
It is true that pistachios in Spain are not considered to be a traditional product, but high profitability and high demand for this product in the past 10 years has caused the pistachio crop area to rise substantially in Spain.
The production of domestic pistachios is still low, but it is also expanding.
The Castile-La Mancha region has the highest increase in pistachios and production. The expansion of pistachio cultivation is a long-term investment that is expected to continue to increase.
Pistachio production within the EU does not cover domestic demand, so a significant amount of pistachios from Iran and the United States are imported into the European Union.
Pistachios are consumed in various forms in Europe, Use of dry in shell (with skin) as nuts to the consumption of pistachio kernel in the restaurants, cakes, sweets and other food industries and green pistachio powder and pistachio paste in ice cream.
The European Union is one of the main importers of pistachios in the world. Iranian pistachio and the United States pistachio have the biggest share of European pistachio market.
These two countries together have more than 90% of the total pistachio imports to Europe in their hand.
In the European Union market, buy Iranian pistachio is the main rival of the United States.
Iranian pistachio flavor is still better than American pistachio, and this is the most important advantage of Iranian pistachios ( Table 2 ) .
EU-28 Imports of Pistachios by Origin in MT (In-shell Basis) Ton
Country of origin
Exports of pistachios from the EU are very small. The main purposes of pistachio produced in the 28 EU countries in 2016 were the Mellá and Monte Carlo autonomous cities of Spain (Table 3).
|EU-28 Exports of Pistachios by Destination in MT (In-shell )|
|Country of origin|