About Brazil Nuts

Rainforest Diversity

Our premium quality Brazil nut products come from Brazil nuts wild-harvested by Peruvian and Brazilian families who greatly value and rely on healthy rainforests for their livelihood. The rainforest that spans the Amazonian intersection of Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil contain the world's most biologically diverse ecosystem, including the greatest known species densities of birds and butterflies. A single square kilometer supports twice as many butterfly species as the entire United States, and more than 10 % of the world total! This rainforest is also incredibly rich in Brazil nuts, which cannot be grown anywhere else beecause their pollination and seed cycles relies on unique insects and animals. This ecosystem is a resource base of profound significance to global biodiversity. Either it can be protected and sustainably utilized, or it can be exploited and wiped out in a few generations. Because thousands of families in the region get more than half their income from wild-harvesting Brazil nuts, the government has stepped in to prese these natural areas from unsustainable extractive industries like logging, ranching, and oil exploration.

Sustainable Harvest

Brazil nuts are gathered in these pristine tracts of untouched primary rainforest. In partnership with Conservation International, indigenous people from the Madre de Dios rainforest of Eastern Peru work to gather these wild-crafted nuts. Because the harvesters have been trained in sustainable forestry management, they know how to work together to ensure that the nuts are not over-harvested, which could lead to either wiping out the trees depleting the ecosystem. The harvesters are paid a fair price for their skilled, sustainable collection and value-added processing work. Our harvesters have been certified organic since 2000. They gather the large pods and crack those open with machetes, revealing handfuls of tough-shelled Brazil nuts inside. The pods are composted, while the in-shell nuts are quickly shade-dried to avoid mold. Then they are bagged and brought on canoes and boats to a processing facility close to the source. organic brazil nuts organic brazil nuts in shell brazil nuts whole brazil nuts

Processed to Purity

At this facility, the in-shell nuts undergo a series of controlled processes and inspections which ensure that poor quality nuts can be eliminated at several points in the process. First they are inspected for mold, then quickly dried at 131 C before undergoing a moisture test. Then the nuts (still in their shells) are steamed at 40 psi for 10 seconds to clean and sterilize the outer layers. Then the nuts are shelled and graded. Only the best quality nuts are allowed to proceed. To prevent oxidation of the nuts, only whole nuts are destined for direct consumption. Nuts that break during the shelling process are separated for use in oil making. At this point, the nuts are dried a final time, before undergoing thorough chemical testing for aflatoxins. Then they are vacuum packed and shipped to a more complete processing facility in Lima. There, the nuts are weighed, moisture tested (again), and sorted (again) to divert broken nuts for oil production. All nuts undergo a final steam decontamination (48 seconds at 177 C) before cooling and final testing for microbes and aflatoxins.

The next best thing to Raw

Nobody can honestly claim to offer Truly RAW Brazil nuts. Because they are wild-harvested in the humid jungle, all organic Brazil nuts must be treated at temperatures above 118 C to prevent humidity and mold contamination. Although our Brazil nuts are not processed at raw tepmeratures, they are never roasted and are treated at minimal necesary temperatures, in order to protect their delicate polyunsaturated fatty acids from oxidation. Even though all Brazil nuts are wild harvested if they are NOT organic certified that means they are treated with toxic chemicals to prevent rot. Our Brazil nuts are certified organic AND kosher, so instead of using chemicals, they undergo a rigorous process of inspection, steam-cleaning, and drying.