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Pecans and the Pecan Industry

Aug 26, 2008
You must have eaten quite a few pecans in your lifetime. But, do you know that there various interesting processes that it goes through before it reaches your table or the retail shops. You might pop the pecan nut into your mouth, crunch, admire the taste and swallow, but there are quite a few things that happen before that. It is a whole industry out there and it has gone through many phases.

The Pecan Production

There has been a steady increase of the pecan products in the United States and it is estimated that in the 1920s around 2.2 million pounds of pecans were produced while the number has increased to around 400 million pounds in the year 2007, which is an astounding figure. The first pecans and this is the one that were produced before the 1920, were shelled by hands and more often than not consumers had to do the deed themselves. Over a period of time pecan processing was developed and more importantly equipment was developed that would help in processes such as cracking, sizing, drying, and even packaging amongst other things. Also, aspects like storage area, storage temperature etc also were given focus and all things taken together went a long way in increasing the popularity of pecans.

Shelled or Unshelled

80 percent of the pecans that have been sold since the year 1948 have been of the shelled variety, which essentially means that shelled pecans are more popular then their unshelled counterparts. There are quite a number of shelling plants that operate through the year while there are still others that are only operated in the fall months. There are as many as 14 cracking machines in some the large pecan plants and they have the inherent capacity of cracking open around 150,000 pounds of pecans a day. All such plants have facility for cold storage and you will be amazed to know that several million pounds of pecan nuts both shelled and unshelled can be stored in such plants.

The Various Types of Machinery

Some of the machinery that is being used with regards to pecans is the grading and sizing machinery that remove the various faulty nuts or any other foreign material. Moreover, there are also machines with various tanks or vats that are used which are used to sterilize the pecans before the process of shelling begins. The most important of all machinery is obviously the cracking machines or crackers. Then there are shellers and as the name suggests, they are used for the separation of the shells from the meat of the pecans. There are many more machineries that go in the making of packaged pecans.

Grades for Shelled Pecans

US shelled pecan nuts are available in five Grades which include, U.S commercial pieces, Unclassified, U.S Commercial Halves, U.S No. 1 Halves, and U.S. No. 1 pieces. As can be seen there is a whole lot industry facets to know about the Pecan industry, and it is like any other industry with its own growth charts, development, and all round value.
About the Author
Tanner's Pecan is proud to offer a variety of holiday gift baskets, peanut butter fudge, chocolate pecan pie, pecans, roasted pecans, and chocolate fudge. Visit Tanner's Pecans today for the best selection of pecans and Pecan Pralines.
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