Fresh Australian walnuts are on their way to market with this year’s harvest underway across Australia.
Australian walnuts are so popular that many growers sell out completely within months of harvest, which means avid consumers have been waiting for their favourite nuts to come back on the shelves.
Reports from around the country suggest that 2019 will be another strong year with levels of production similar to 2017’s record harvest of 13,000 tonnes.
President of the Australian Walnut Industry Association Dr Michael Lang said that buying fresh walnuts is important.
“Consumers will really notice the superior taste of new season Australian walnuts,” Dr Lang said.
“When buying walnuts, check the label to see where they’re from and choose Australian – you’ll not only be supporting our local growers and processors, but you’ll also get a much better-quality product.”
“They are so versatile – delicious raw, toasted, in salads and pasta or the ever-popular carrot cake and baklava.”
Scientific research has proven numerous health benefits from eating a handful or two of walnuts (40 – 100g) a day as part of a healthy diet.
- Eating walnuts can promote heart health, improve blood cholesterol and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, with no effect on body weight.
- Walnuts are packed with a wide range of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals beneficial to health and raw walnuts deliver one of the highest levels of antioxidants of the edible nuts.
- A combination of the healthy polyunsaturated fats, plant omega-3s, antioxidants such as ellagic acid, fibre and arginine in walnuts, plus their antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering effects, may help explain why walnuts promote heart health.
Walnut production in Australia is growing rapidly, with the industry set to crack the $95M mark, in terms of total value of production, by 2025.
Dr Lang said that, globally, walnuts are amongst the most widely consumed of all commercially-grown tree nuts and Australian production continues to increase as young trees come into production and more new areas are planted.
“Around 60 per cent of Australian-grown walnuts are exported, and we expect this to increase after a recent agreement to allow the export of Australian walnuts to India – one of the world’s biggest consumers of walnuts,” Dr Lang said.
“Australia’s export success comes from our ability to provide a reliable and premium quality supply of walnuts into the northern hemisphere markets in their off-season.
“Australian walnut growers are producing some of the best quality walnuts in the world utilising world-class processing systems that provide consumers with the confidence that Australian nuts are safe and reliable.”
According to the Australian Nut Industry Council, world demand for nuts is growing at about four per cent each year, well above natural population growth.
This expansion is coming from an increasing awareness of the health benefits of nuts, an increasing prosperity of the middle class in developing economies, and the development of new retail food products using nuts, such as nut milks and protein bars.
For more information contact:
Dr Michael Lang, President, Australian Walnut Industry Association Inc.
Mobile: 0409 976 608
Trevor Ranford, Industry Development Officer, Australian Walnut Industry Association Inc.
Mobile: 0417 809 172