Pine nuts must be fresh to benefit the body. Unfortunately the various types of processing that many suppliers undertake can undermine the quality of the pine nuts that feature in many high street stores. Unlike our nuts that our sourced directly from our regional Russian partners, many nuts on the high street can pass through many middlemen over the course of their journey from forest to shelf. It is thought that over twenty thousand tonnes of pine nuts are bulk ferried from Russia to China each year as rail freight. This has two concerning consequences:
As soon as the nuts are extracted from the cone, they begin to lose their medicinal qualities. To minimise costs during the process of harvesting and transport, the nuts are stored under awnings in bags or in a pile, and so the nuts are subject to the unwanted oxidising effect of the open air, or even worse they can be at risk of mold, the so-called "blue mold."
The time spent on warehousing, transport and shipping rob these unfortunate pine nuts of their intrinsic quality and freshness. The instant the shell was removed from the nut, the oxidation of the fats in the nuts begins; these processes accelerate at high temperatures—up to plus 50 degree Celsius—found in the closed, unventilated containers on the deck of a ship exposed to direct sunlight.
2) Oil Extraction
In order to increase their profit from the processing of pine nuts, middlemen often extract the oil from the nuts using a chemical means that does not disturb/destroy the structure of the nut. This is done to derive the greatest profit, as the sale of pine nut oil offers them a second revenue stream. This would not be so bad if it were not for the damage done to the pine nuts themselves.
This is how it happens:
Typically the middleman's choice of extraction method for removing oil is the most economical available and ensures the maximum yield of the raw oil.
The basis of the extraction process is the ability of vegetable oils to dissolve in organic solvents. In China and other countries, extractive benzine and petroleum distillates are used as solvents to extract oil from the raw plant materials. Sunflower seeds, pine nuts, cotton seeds, linen seeds, peanuts and others are often processed in the same way. After this oil extraction process, the nuts are dried, washed, and dried again for the purposes of later sale.
Needless to say, our pine nuts have never and will never undergo the above process. Our nuts are vaccum packed as soon as they are shelled in Altai to ensure they stay fresh in transit straight to the UK without any profiteering middlemen involved whatsoever.