When we first receive the walnuts, we perform an initial sift to remove any branches, soil and stones.
The walnuts are then hulled, using a special system which removes the husk (the green outer layer that covers the nut), if still attached to the shell. The hulled nuts are then washed in water only, with no whitening products added, in order to avoid modifying the product’s natural characteristics. During these stages the walnuts are placed on sliding belts, where the first manual selection takes place and any unsuitable product is removed.
Once the walnuts have been hulled and washed, they are placed in special boxes and transferred to the drying area, which comprises dryers at a controlled temperature of never more than 30°C. This process is crucial in achieving a successful product as it allows us to deliver walnuts with an initial moisture level of around 40%, which will reach a final moisture content of approximately 10%, suitable for packaging and preservation.
Once drying is complete, the product is sized using air currents: depending on their individual weight, unsuitable walnuts, that is, empty shells or those with partially shrivelled kernels, are discarded, and the remaining nuts are classified according to size and then stored.
But here at Agricorti we don’t depend on mechanical sorting. Visual assessment is also key: only under the expert eyes of those who have cultivated walnuts all their lives is the final product selected for packaging. The previously stored walnuts are placed on a conveyor belt, where qualified personnel remove any broken nuts or defective nuts due to the presence of insects, moulds, etc.
This once again shows how technology alone cannot guarantee what the farmer’s attention and experience can provide.