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Pistachio

Nuts are a suitable source of nutrients like: protein, vitamin and minerals that are necessary for human health, they have unsaturated fats that are helpful for deceasing cholesterol and the risk of heart diseases.
Pistachio is one of the nuts that extensively consumed due to its nutritional and health value.
Nowadays, pistachio is favorable in many countries as a pleasant and tasty nut.
Pistachio has the highest nutritional value comparing with the other nuts, grains and proteins. Pistachio is full of fiber. Today, fiber is very important in medical science and for human health. It is recommended in daily dietary.
The fiber in pistachio accelerates digestive function and helps to avoid of cancer diseases, besides that it absorbs more water and thus reduces overeating.

Pistachio is the fruit kernel of pistachio tree. First, pistachio tree has been founded in Iran. This nut is called “smiling nut” because of its shape. Pistachio is a powerful botanical nutrient and is used for healing a lot of diseases.
It is mentioned “Fastagh” in the traditional medical books, in French: pistachier, Communpistachier and pistachiervrai, in English: pistachio and pistachio nut tree.
According to different botanists: pistachio is a plant of Anacardiaceue or Terebivthaceae family that the scientific name is: pistaciavera L and has synonym names that are mentioned in some evidences as: pistacia, reticulate willd ,pistacianarbonensis L and pistaciatrifolia L.

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Characteristics

Pistachio is a small tree, its height is less than 5 meters; the leaves of pistachio are compound with 3-5 leaflets. The shape of leaflets is ovate, cuspidate, shiny, leathery and smooth. Top of the leaf is light green and its back is matt green with dimensions: 3-6 ×5-10 cm.
The flowers are like cluster, its fruits are like cuspidate ovate. Pistachio tree has two bases: female and male. Pistachio fruit (the edible portion) has an exteriorsmooth purplish greenshell. There is a hard, dry and white shell under the exterior one. Inside the fruit is the kernel with a thin outer shell which is called placenta.

Chemical compounds

Per 100 gr pistachio nut contains:
Water: 5/3 gr
Protein: 19/3 gr
Fat material: 53/7 gr
Carbohydrate: 17 gr
Ash: 2/7 gr
Calcium: 131 mgr
Phosphorus: 500 mgr
Iron: 7/3 mgr
Potassium: 972 mgr
Vitamin A: 230 (international unit)
Thiamin: 0/67 mgr
Niacin: ¼ mgr

The pistachio nutritional and pharmaceutical compounds and properties

Pistachio kernel is an energizer substance and rich in protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. Pistachio has the highest nutrition value among other nuts and protein foods like: meat, milk, egg and grains. Pistachio kernel has the most amount of absorbable iron among more than 200 foods like: nuts, grains, vegetable, dry and wet fruits, dairy products, meat and a lot more. It contains: 20% pure protein and more than 50% liquid oil or fat. Per 100 gr pistachio has 698 microgram carotenoid.
There are some vitamins in pistachio such as: the group of vitamin B, vitamin D, vitamin E and some minerals: like: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, azote, sulfur and phosphorus.

Pistachio benefits

1. Pistachio has low calorie, no cholesterol and a little saturated fat that is a source of energy and helps to absorb vitamins: A, E, K and D.
2. Pistachio is one of the best sources of botanical protein.
3. Pistachio contains a lot of fiber that helps in digestion and regulates cholesterol and blood sugar.
4. Pistachio is the highest source of potassium among the other nuts. The amount of potassium equals with potassium in one orange. The amount of potassium of two pistachios is more than the potassium in one banana. The potassium of pistachio helps to balance body liquid, set heart beat and also is helpful for decreasing blood sugar.
5. Pistachio contains phosphorus which is helpful for growing bones and teeth; it prevents from fatigue and weakness and strengthens muscles.
6. Pistachio contains magnesium. It is one of the most important mineral elements for changing food to energy; it sets the heart beat and stops the muscle spasm.
7. The iron in pistachio is useful for dizziness, paleness, tiredness and anemia.

8. Zinc is very important for reinforcement of skin, hair and nail.
9. Pistachio has vitamins like: B6, B1 and E. vitamin B6 helps to metabolize protein and absorb nutrients. Vitamin B1 increases energy, strengthens neural cells and balances appetite.
10. Pistachio has the most antioxidant. As you know, vitamin E is an antioxidant that reinforce immunity system and eye health, it avoids of tiredness, stress and cell damaging.
11. Pistachio like other nuts prevents from heart diseases. Since it has unsaturated fat can reduce the blood cholesterol.
12. Pistachio makes brain function properly and calm down the persons.
13. This nut stops developing chronic illnesses like cancer.
14. Researches have shown that: pistachio can increase good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) triglyceride.
15. It is necessary to mention that 28 gr pistachio provides more than 10% of the fiber, vitamin B6, B1, magnesium and phosphorus, which body needs.

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The most important pistachio types


Akbari

It is one of the trading pistachios and has the highest economic value.
Shape: almond-shaped, long and large.
Physical characteristics: it is a vast growth one, has compact and wide leaves, plentiful harvest and compact and strong wooden shell.



Kalehghouchi

Shape: large and hazelnut-shaped
Physical characteristics: it is sensitive to shortage of water and food. The most of its leaves are composed of 5 leaflets; the last leaflet is larger than the lateral one. It is an early flowering plant therefore; it is vulnerable against the late cold weather of spring.



Fandoghi

At present, it is the most cultivation of pistachio orchards and also the most production in Iran, depending on the climate condition it can be harvested from the beginning of September to the end of September. The tree of fandoghi pistachio is a bush type and shorter than the others. It is very valuable for trading.


 
Ahmad Aghaee

It is almond-shaped and very popular in the world market. The color of its nut is a particular red. It is consumed more than the other nuts.

 
The green pistachio kernel

It is produced from unripe and immature pistachio. It is used in industrial food like: confection and chocolate because of its certain color and flavor. It also has many gradation of packing.

Keeping pistachio

Pistachios with their hard shell are usually kept in air-tight containers to be protected from insect contamination. They also can be kept at 0-2/7 C˚ for one year and at 17/8 C˚ for 3 years. Pistachios kernel can be kept for one year at 0 C˚ and for 3 years at 17/8 C˚.

Table 1- keeping time of pistachio at different temperatures (centigrade)

Harvest type 0-2/7
0 -17/8
humidity measuring
Unripe pistachio 1 year
- 3 year
65% - 70%
Pistachio kernel - 1 year
3 year
65% - 70%