Pistachio (Pistacia vera)

Behin Exir pistachios are harvested by our business partners from pistachio gardens under our supervision, and after transferring them to the factory, the process is strictly controlled by our quality control team. Additionally, the pistachio analysis sheet (prepared by the laboratory certified by the National Iranian Standards Organization) is available and can be presented on demand. Production is fully mechanized using the latest sorting machines. Our pistachios are minimum aflatoxin due to the strict control by our quality control team.  

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Botanical name: Pistacia vera

Family name: Anacardiaceae

Botanical: deciduous; 25-35 feet (7.6-10.6 meters) high; long juvenility depending on the cultivar; 500-1000 chill units are required during winter.

Flower: 100-200 flowers. Flowers have no petals, thus not attracting bees. Pollen is distributed by the wind.

Leaf: The leaves are alternate, simple, or compound. Each leaf contains a lateral bud.

Fruit: Pistachio fruits grow from the pistil of the female flower. They consist of a kernel enclosed in a thin, hard shell (endocarp) surrounded by a fleshy hull (mesocarp and exocarp).

Root: Pistachio rooting is axial and vertical and sinks to more than two meters deep in the soil.
Plant part: Fruits

  • Kingdom: Plantae (plants)
  • Subkingdom: Viridiplantae (green plants)
  • Division: Tracheophyta  – vascular plants, tracheophytes
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Sapindales
  • Family: Anacardiaceae (cashews)
  • Genus: Pistacia L. (pistache)
  • Species: Pistacia vera L.
2Common names
  • English: pistachio nut; pistachio tree
  • Spanish: alfoncigo; alfonsigo; alhocigo; pistachero
  • Germany: Pistazie; Pistazienstrauch
  • Italy: pistacchio
  • USA: pistache; pistachio; pistachio nut
  • Turkey: Fistigi
  • Russian: fistaska-Фисташки
  • Arabic: fistik
  • French: pistache; pistachier
  • Portuguese: alfostigo
  • Iran: pista
  • The Netherlands: pistachenoten
  • Portugal: pistache
  • India: पिस्ता फल
  • Sweden: pistaschbuske
  • Pakistan: fistik
  • 3Origin and History

    Remains of pistachio nuts dating back to the sixth millennium BC have been found in both southeastern Iran Afghanistan, where pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) was probably first cultivated in regions close to where it grew wild. For example, legend has it that the Queen of Sheba (Assyria, ca 10th century BC) monopolized a limited crop of nuts for her exclusive use. However, the Assyrians and the Greeks knew that pistachios could be used as medicines, aphrodisiacs, and antidotes. Pistachio was introduced to Europe at the beginning of the Christian era. It was introduced to the United States by the USDA plant exploration service in 1890. The first California pistachio introductions were planted at the Plant Introduction Station in Chico, California in the Northern Sacramento Valley in 1904. Kerman, Khorasan, Yazd and Fars Provinces in Iran together have the largest area of pistachio orchards in the world.

    4Geographical distribution

    Pistachio species are native to areas from 400c to 700c latitude. They are native to western Asia and Asia Minor, where they are still found growing wild in numerous hot, dry locations mostly in Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, the United States (California, Arizona, and New Mexico), Southern Europe, and the desert countries of Asia and Africa.

    5Major constituents

    Among nuts, pistachios have a lower fat and energy content and the highest levels of K, g-tocopherol, vitamin K, phytosterols, xanthophyll carotenoids, certain minerals (Cu, Fe, and Mg), vitamin B6, and thiamin. Pistachios have a high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential.

    6Various applications

    Pistachio is used as a valuable product in the food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics industries. However, the main consumption of pistachios is nuts. Pistachio peel is also used as a dye in the paint industry.

    Food industry: Due to the high nutritional value of pistachio nuts, they are mainly used in the food industry. Other consumer industries include the confectionery and ice cream industries.

    Cosmetics and perfume: Pistachio essential oil is used in the production of some perfumes. Some perfumes and colognes with the nutty aroma of pistachios are XS Extreme Girl by Paco Rabanne, Omnia Green Jade Bvlgari for women, Eau Egyptienne Cinq Mondes for women, and Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet.

    Therapeutic properties: Some of the most important therapeutic uses of pistachio include:

    • Satiety regulation and weight management
    • Reduced systolic blood pressure (SBP)
    • Reduced glucose and insulin
    • Protection against cancers
    • Effect of probiotic against intestinal germs
    Product Unit net weightContainerNet weight/Tons
    In shellBag50 20' 12/5
    In shellBag5040' 25

    According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), approximately 40 percent of the world's crops are destroyed annually by a variety of pests, plant diseases, and weeds. 14.1% of 40% destroyed by plant diseases. Many of these pathogens (fungi and bacteria) produce a variety of toxins in response to environmental conditions. The types of toxins include Aflatoxin, Ochratoxin, Tab-toxin, Fusarin, Patulin, Zearalenone, etc.
    Aflatoxins are one group of toxins. The saprophytic fungi Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus, and Penicillium sp. are agents producing aflatoxin. These fungi can grow on crops at all stages of production, harvesting and processing. The best temperature range for their growth and production of aflatoxin is 24-32°C and 24-28°C, respectively. At least 16 structurally close aflatoxins have been detected to date. The major types of aflatoxins include Aflatoxin B (AFB) (B1, B2), Aflatoxin G (AFG) (G1, G2), and Aflatoxin M (AFM) (M1 and M2). A wide range of foods may be contaminated with aflatoxins which are most commonly found in dried fruits, tree nuts (such as pistachio, almonds, pecans and walnuts).

    Ochratoxin Ochratoxins are one group of mycotoxins. The saprophytic fungi Aspergillus sp. and Penicillium sp. are agents producing ochratoxins. Among the types of ochratoxins, type A (OTA) is the most poisonous one. Behin Exir Company has stringent laws and monitors all stages of its production and processing of products, including pistachios, to minimize contamination with these toxin-producing agents. The company implements national standards and codex and EU standards in all stages of its production and processing.
    9Storage conditions

    Because of the similar characteristics of pistachios with regard to transport, particularly their high oil content, their requirements regarding care during storage and transport are the same as those of oil-bearing seeds/fruits. They need to be stored in a cool, dry place with good ventilation. The favorable travel temperature range is 0°C (for the longest possible storage life) or 5-25°C. Pistachio nuts should not be stored near heat sources and sunlight. The relative humidity should be 60-75% and water content 4-6%. Weight loss of up to 1% due to moisture loss may occur. The recommended ventilation conditions include the air exchange rate to be at least 10 changes per hour (airing). Pistachio nuts are sensitive to unpleasant and/or pungent odors, pressure and insect infestation. In view of the above, it is necessary to observe the principles of storage conditions so that risk factors cannot cause damage to the product.

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    Akbari (Super Long) Pistachio:

    Akbari Pistachio is the longest and most expensive type of Iranian pistachio. It is available in Natural open/Mechanical open, close-shell and the following sizes:

    • 18-20
    • 20-22
    • 22-24
    • 24-26

    Kalleh Ghuchi (Jumbo) Pistachio:

    Kalleh Ghuchi (Jumbo) pistachio is similar to Fandoghi pistachio but longer and larger in size. The local name is derived from the shape of this type which looks like rams head.  It is available in Natural open/Mechanical open,close-shell and the following sizes:

    • 20-22
    • 22-24
    • 24-26

    Ahmad Aghaei Pistachio:

    Ahmad Aghaei pistachio has the whitest skin color and is popular in East Asia and Greece. It is available in Natural open/Mechanical open, close-shell and the following sizes:

    • 22-24
    • 24-26
    • 26-28
    • 28-30

    Badami (almond-shaped) Pistachio:

    Badami (almond-shaped) pistachio is shorter than Ahmad Aghaei pistachio. It is available in Natural open/Mechanical open, close-shell and the following sizes:

    • 26-28
    • 28-30
    • 30-32

    Fandoghi (Round) Pistachio:

    Fandoghi (Round) pistachio resembles a hazelnut, is shorter than other pistachios, and is Iran's first exported pistachio in terms of volume. It is available in Natural open/Mechanical open, close-shell and the following sizes:

    • 28-30
    • 30-32
    • 32-34

    Other products of Pistachio:

    Other products available include:

    • Pistachio Kernel
    • Pistachio green kernel
    • Pistachio slice
    • Pistachio powder
    • Pistachio paste

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