Bakers Journal

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California’s walnut industry continues to grow


September 24, 2010
By Bakers Journal

sept24califwalnutsbjSeptember 24, 2010, Folsom, CA – California’s walnut
industry continues to grow, posting 17 per cent growth over the 2009 crop, and
113 per cent growth since 2000.

With
the 2010 harvest underway in California’s Central Valley, the United States’
National Agricultural Statistics Service predicts this year’s yield will be
510,000 short tonnes. This estimate is expected to be confirmed in February
2011.

According
to California Walnut Board member Jack Mariani, “This has been an excellent
growing year – a nice wet winter and trees were strong and healthy. This
estimated record crop along with the shortest carry-ins on record and vigorous
consumer demand will help grow the industry.”

The
reported health benefits of walnuts have gone a long way toward driving up
consumer demand. Clinical research showing that walnuts benefit cardiovascular
health prompted the US Food and Drug Administration to approve a qualified
health claim for walnuts in 2004. Walnuts are also the only nut that contain a
significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid, a plant-based omega-3 essential
fatty acid.

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California
walnuts account for 99 per cent of the commercial US supply and three-quarters
of world trade.