Ömer Ergüder, co-chairman of the Walnut Producers Association (CÜD), which aims to raise awareness among consumers that domestic walnuts are healthier and of higher quality, called on consumers to purchase local walnuts.
Ergüder also informed that the majority of the imported products on the shelves, which are stated to belong to the year 2022, are the harvests of the past years, and said, “When purchasing walnuts, consumers should take care to buy local walnuts instead of choosing products whose origin they do not know. Because domestic walnuts are both healthier, better quality and more delicious compared to imported products.
Walnut Producers Association (CÜD) met with consumers in 2020 with the slogan 'Turkey's Production Walnut: Native of Walnut, The Most Delicious Walnut'. CÜD Co-President Ömer Ergüder, who aimed to explain the importance of local walnuts, their better quality and more deliciousness from the first day they set out, warned consumers not to buy imported walnuts.
Ergüder, who called on consumers to prefer freshly harvested domestic walnuts, underlined that the freshness and humidity ratio of walnuts are very important factors that determine the taste. Stating that domestic producers deliver the walnut from the field to the table as soon as possible, Ergüder said, “The majority of imported walnuts originate from the USA, Chile and China. Since these products cannot be sold in the year they were produced, they remain in their hands and are kept in warehouses for at least 1-2 years. For this reason, they do not have the freshness they should have according to the food codex. At the same time, mineral and oil values are considerably reduced. In order not to be affected by long-term waiting conditions, they are stored in containers with chemical drugs. Therefore, it adversely affects human health,” he said.
The 2022 harvest was very productive”
Stating that the domestic walnut is healthier, tastier and fresher, Ergüder said that the 2022 harvest was quite productive. Ergüder said, “As the Walnut Producers Association, we have completed the 2022 harvest as of last month. Currently, there are many newly harvested domestic walnuts on the market. We ask our consumers to pay attention to buying local and delicious walnuts grown in our country, instead of walnuts whose origin they do not know, in order to support both their own health and our economy.”
'A good tracking system should be established from production to shelf'
Stating that the majority of walnuts that are currently sold as 'imported' on market shelves are not walnuts harvested in 2022, Ergüder said, "We believe that most of the walnuts we see on the market shelves, which are dated 2022 and stated to be of US, Chilean or Chinese origin, are not this year's product. . It takes about five months for the products harvested in October or November to arrive in our country. It is of great benefit for consumers to consider this criterion when purchasing walnuts. This can only be done by establishing a good tracking system from production to shelf by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, by making it mandatory that the production place and date are on the package, and by ensuring the continuity of the necessary controls. We have forwarded our request to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry so that this work can be put into practice.”
How to identify quality walnuts?
Saying that local walnuts should be purchased instead of imported walnuts of the past years, Ergüder shared information on how the consumer would understand quality walnuts:
- Both the inner and outer shell of the walnut are not moldy.
- The amount of the interior is more.
- Walnut is easily separated from its inner shell.
- Its color is lighter and does not disperse easily.
- Its surface is light colored and quite large.
- Apart from all these, walnuts that are dark in color, easily dispersed and have little or no interior should not be preferred.