Clean nuts neededThis article was originally published in Foodnews
CALIFORNIA's pistachio crop for 2007 recorded not only a bumper harvest but also high levels of aflatoxin and navel orange worm (NOW) damage. It is becoming such a problem that pistachio handlers are considering penalties for growers who deliver nuts high in aflatoxin/NOW damage, and rewarding those with good management practices and deliver clean crops. The high levels have been blamed on the heavy crop in 2007 with strung out maturity, early splits and a late harvest. Growers are being urged to sanitise their trees, which can cost US$100-150/acre, but the benefit would be that processors will not reject the crops.