Walnuts are cracked using our walnut cracking machine. The cracked walnut kernels (or flesh) are hand sorted into larger and smaller pieces. The large halves and smaller pieces are vacuum packed for sale. Finer pieces are vacuum packed for walnut oil making, for making walnut meal or for sale to bakeries and for baking.
Large walnut pieces packed prior to vacuum sealing
All the walnuts cracked each day are vacuum packed on the same day. The vacuum packing machine extracts about 98% of the air from around the walnut kernels and seals the bag. Consequently the walnuts keep fresh for a long time, particularly if the bags are stored in a cool, dry and dark place, which is what we do until they are sold. They should be eaten before the "best before date" clearly shown on the package.
Once a vacuum bag is opened any unused walnut kernels should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Harvesting and Drying
We only use walnuts that are grown and harvested by us at Wellwood.
When the walnuts are brought in from the orchard any remaining husks are removed and the walnuts are placed in silos where they are air-dried so that their moisture content is about 9%. This is one of the most critical part of the process as over-drying spoils the taste and under-drying invites rancidity.