Australian walnut harvest wraps up

Fresh Australian walnuts are on their way to market with this year’s harvest now complete.

Reports from around the country suggest that 2021 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 Michele Valier said that walnuts are growing in popularity as a plant-based source of protein.

“As well as being a great source of protein, walnuts contain many nutrients which can contribute to the normal function of our immune system, including a wide range of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals beneficial to health,” Mr Valier said.

“They are versatile, too: you can add walnuts to your cakes, bread, salads, pasta, soups and risotto to add texture and a nutritional boost.

“Choosing fresh, Australian-grown walnuts will also ensure a sweeter flavour.”

Scientific research has shown eating a handful of walnuts (30g) a day as part of a healthy diet can promote heart health, improve blood cholesterol and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, with no effect on body weight.

A combination of the healthy polyunsaturated fats, plant omega-3s, 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 2030.

Mr Valier said Australian production continues to increase as young trees come into production and more new areas are planted.

“Around 40 per cent of Australian-grown walnuts are exported, and we are seeing this increase, thanks to our ability to provide a reliable and premium quality supply of walnuts into the northern hemisphere markets in their off-season,” Mr Valier said.

“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.”

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