An Overview Of The Evolution Of The U.S. Pecan Industry. Pecan Production. Pecan Physiology and Compositon. Pecan Processing. Mechanization of Post-Harvest Pecan Processing. Microbiology and Sanitation. Pecan Composition. Methods for Measurement of Pecan Quality. Structure and Performance of the Pecan Market
Flavorwise and texturewise pecans are the "Queen of the Edible Nuts. " This has been verified by salters, bakers, confectioners and ice cream manufacturers in America and western Europe. Hickory nuts and macadamia nuts are close behind, but are available only in limited supply. Pecans are among the nuts highest in oil content. In general, the varieties of nuts with the highest oil content are also rich in flavor and tender in texture. Some varieties of pecans (i. e. , Schley and Curtis) have been shown to contain as much as 76% oil. The oil in pecans is highly unsaturated, which means it is desirable from a nutritional standpoint but that it is also highly susceptible to oxidation which can cause pecans to tum stale and rancid. Pecans used in confections, bakery goods, cereals, or in snacks are more subject to staleness and rancidity than most nuts because these products are often stored at ambient temperatures. For this reason, pecans are considered to be semi-perishable and are not used in some "fine" products due to their limited shelf-life. Research at the Georgia Experiment Station has shown that raw pecans or most pecan products may be held in good condition for more than 20 years if freezing is the mode of preservation. However, development of new products demands that pecans be stored at ambient temperatures for extended intervals. Pecan 'meat' is easily bruised during shelling and handling.
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