Like almonds, each load of walnut field run that arrives on our ranch is tracked by grower, field and variety. However, unlike almonds, walnuts are never stockpiled; their much higher moisture content can cause overall quality to diminish if they are not hulled and dried within hours. Most walnuts are received and shipped from our ranch to the processor within 24 hours.
To Processing In Time
When a load of field run walnuts arrives from the field, they immediately move to the hulling process, which starts with tumbling to remove small debris. Next, any sticks are removed after which the nuts are floated in a tank to remove any larger rocks. Then they move through a knife-plated conveyor where the hulls are removed by metal brushes, aided by water. Electronics help sort out any bad nuts.
The hulled walnuts are then moved to metal, screen-bottomed drying bins. Each bin, which holds approximately 1,800 lbs. of walnuts is placed on a dryer for approximately 24 hours to dry, until the nuts inside reach a stable, desirable moisture level. Drying time varies depending upon the seasonal climate and time of the year.
For growers that request it, we offer in-house grading of walnuts by our trained staff. During this process, our specialist will shell and classify a standard sampling of each load by size, color, quality, and other factors.
Commitments to Quality
C.F. Koehnen & Sons participates in the Good Manufacturing Practices Program. We make every effort to provide a high quality and safe food product. This includes maintaining clean and sanitized facilities, quality equipment, incoming truck inspections, an effective pest control program and properly trained staff to meet federal regulations at the walnut hulling operations.