Raw Materials for our products

The almond- a cultivated plant for the last 2000 years

Some are bitter, others are sweet. Almonds are as versatile as the manner in which they are processed. The fact is that the almond originates from the rose family, lat. Rosaceae. The almond tree grows to a height of up to six metres and blooms from the end of January until the end of February, depending on the region, with white to light pink blossoms. Almonds are harvested between August and October. The main regions of cultivation are California/USA, Australia and the Mediterranean area, primarily Spain and Italy.

A distinction is made between bitter and sweet almonds. Sweet almonds are bred by means of refinement, in other words grafting the bitter almonds. Most kinds of Spanish sweet almond tree also carry small amounts (around 2%) of bitter almonds. Bitter almonds alone are inedible. However, they are used at a proportion of between 3% and 5% in the production of marzipan in order to provide a stronger taste.

 

  

In California, 100 % of the almonds harvested are sweet almonds with no bitter almond share. The cultivation of large plantations leads to even fertilization and artificial irrigation. Depending on the weather, the annual American harvest can produce up to 700,000 tonnes. The most important varieties are "Nonpareil", "Carmel", "Monterey", "Butte", "Padre" and "Sonora". Californian almond kernels are treated according to variety and size. They are offered in "raw or "brown" versions, as well as "peeled" or "blanched". Almonds from the Mediterranean region are more aromatic than those from California. The reason for this lies in the manner of cultivation. Mediterranean almonds tend to grow more in original and natural cultures. The climatic and geographical conditions in the Mediterranean area also ensure a more intensive aroma. In Spain, the annual harvest amounts to up to 70,000 tonnes of almonds. The most important varieties are "Valencia" and "Marcona". Spanish almonds have a thicker skin than Californian almonds.

 

Almond kernels contain a lot of fat and are nutritious. The percentage of almond oil is between 50% and 57%. Almonds are very healthy due to their fatty acid spectrum. This consists of 80% oleic acid, 15% linoleic acid and 5% palmitic acid. In addition, it has 19% protein, 16% carbohydrates and many minerals, above all potassium and vitamins B1and B2. The proportion of water is around 4% to 7%.

 

Apricot kernels- raw material for persipan

Just like the almond, the light yellow to orange-yellow apricot belongs to the rose family. The country of origin is China, where wild species were cultivated as early as 22 BCE. Apricots are also planted in Iran, in the Turkish highlands, in Syria, Greece and other Mediterranean countries between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. A further country of origin is South Africa. Apricots are drupes, 4 to 8 cm in size. They grow on trees, 4 to 7 meter tall. Harvest takes place from July to September, depending on the region.

Apricots are spherical drupes, between 4 and 8 centimetres in size. They grow on trees that reach heights of between 4 and 7 metres. The harvest period stretches from July to September, depending on the growing region. 
 

From September to October, after the apricot kernels have been dried out to less than 10 percent moisture, the process of breaking the kernels out of their shells begins. Bitter and/or sweet apricot kernels are used for the production of persipan. The flesh of the bitter apricot fruit is inedible and is normally discarded. The edible apricots, on the other hand, do not contain bitter but rather sweet apricot kernels.

 

Hazelnut: The real nut

The hazelnut (Corylus avellana) is an indehiscent fruit, which means a fruit that does not open when ripe. Botanists refer to it as the only true nut. It grows primarily on shrubs that are cultivated particularly in the Mediterranean area. The main plantation region is Turkey. We differentiate between the type and quality of the varieties "Levantine" and "Kerasunder". The annual amount in Turkey is on average around 650,000 tonnes in the shell. Varieties such as "Neapolitan", "Piemontese", "Roman", "Sicilian" come from Italy; the "Negretas" come from Tarragona/Spain. Countries such as Azerbaijan, Georgia and Oregon /USA are becoming increasingly important sources of hazelnuts.

Depending on the region, the harvest lasts from July to October. Good hazelnut kernels should be large, firm and white when broken open, with a mild, slightly sweet taste. Hazelnut kernels are very nutritious. They contain more than 60% high-quality hazelnut oil and 14% protein. The water content is between 4% and 7%. Hazelnut oil is particularly valuable for our nutrition due to its high proportion of simple unsaturated fatty acids. Furthermore, the hazelnut kernel is rich in vitamins E, B1, B2 and in the minerals calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.

 

For our hazelnut production we set the first quality classification at a diameter of 13 to 15 mm, with a preference for the region of Ordu near Trabzon on the Black Sea coast. Top raw materials are the prerequisites for the top quality products made from them.  

 

 

Cocoa,  from mild to strong

The cocoa tree can grow to a height of between 10 and 15 metres. In order to make the work on the plantations easier, it is pruned to a height of between 2 and 6 metres. The tree requires an average annual temperature of between 25 and 28 °C with high humidity. The main growing areas lie between the 13th degree of latitude and the equator. The fruits are yellow to red-brown and between 10 and 25 cm long and between 7 and 10 cm thick. The content consists of around 25 to 50 whitish seeds that are embedded in a sweet-sour fruit mass. These seeds, as cocoa beans, form the raw material for cocoa products. Fermented cocoa beans contain around 50% to 54% cocoa butter (fat), 11.5% protein, 9 % cellulose, 7.5% starch and pentosans, furthermore tannins, minerals, sugar varieties, vitamins, teobromine, caffeine, polyphenols and other valuable substances. The worldwide cocoa harvest yields around 3.6 million tonnes annually. The majority comes from the Ivory Coast and other West African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon.

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Cocoa is divided into two main varieties:

 

  • 1. High-grade cocoa, called Criollo, with its very fine and mild aroma. However, this very high quality cocoa variety yields very little and is sensitive to pests and climate influences. The main growing areas are in Central and South America and South East Asia. Its proportion of world production is very low, at only 3-6 %, and the price is very high, due to its high quality. The high-grade cocoas used by us are primarily Rio Caribe, Trinidad, Arriba, Peru and Madagascar.

 

  • 2. Consumer cocoa, called Forastero, forms the major variety with a proportion of over 90% of the worldwide harvest. Its taste is stronger and spicier than Criollo. Moreover, this variety yields more and is more resistant. The main growing areas are the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ecuador and Brazil, which is also where the varieties that we process come from.

 

The character of the cocoa taste is determined by the spectrum of flavouring. More than 400 flavouring agents can be demonstrated analytically. Influential factors include above all the variety and origin but also the process of fermentation, the drying process and the so-called Maillard reaction produced by roasting, i.e. the transformation of the flavour of the raw cocoa beans into the roasted flavour with the introduction of heat.