Fresh New Zealand Hazelnut Products

Product Specifications

Company Address 764 Courtenay Rd
RD 1 Christchurch, 7671
New Zealand
Trading Name Hazelz new zealand ®
Telephone (03) 318 1886
Email info@hazelnut.co.nz
Website www.hazelnut.co.nz
Factory Premises 764 Courtenay Road
Aylesbury
Business Buying New Zealand grown Hazelnuts, processing to clean kernel, roasting, packaging and distribution to wholesale, bulk and retail buyers.
Food Safety
  • NZFSA approved and audited Food Safety Programme.

  • All production is undertaken in compliance with a rigorous and effective food safety programme that ensures no spoiled or unsound nuts are sold.

  • Recommended grower practices ensure that orchard screening results in only clean, current season nuts are delivered to the factory.

  • Physical inspection and moisture testing of samples at the delivery stage verifies in-shell nut quality with sub-standard nut deliveries being rejected or subjected to further screening.

  • Final visual screening processes after cracking further insure that no foreign matter such as pieces of shell, twigs, or stones that escaped earlier inspections are included with the product.

  • Rodent detection and prevention programmes are in place and constantly monitored.

  • Rigorous plant cleaning and employee hygiene practices are followed at all times.

  • Product batch identification allows product recall to be undertaken if it should be required.

  • Nuts are stored within the factory and monitored regularly to ensure no deterioration or damage occurs due to moisture absorption or rodent damage.

  • A best before date of 6 months from processing is used to ensure only fresh nuts are sold.

  • All nuts are processed (cracked and or roasted) to order to ensure that time related deterioration is kept to a minimum. In-shell nuts can be readily stored for up to 12 to 24 months under the right conditions of relative humidity and temperature, but deterioration is less predictable once cracked.
Date of last FSP audit February 2010
Product Descriptions  
Whole Nuts: A range of Hazelnut varieties or cultivars are available. These range from the large Ennis and Merveille de Bolwiller types suited for coffee table displays and inclusion in Christmas nut packs down to the more commercially useful, smaller Whiteheart nuts. Taste varies somewhat, and arguably improves for some varieties as the nuts age.
Raw Kernel: All Hazelnuts can be shelled and sold as raw kernel, but some varieties are easier to de-pellicle after light blanching. Preference is therefore given to the Whiteheart variety as the main commercial crop in New Zealand as it can easily be blanched, has a light cream colour and texture and has been found to be the preferred nut in taste testing here in New Zealand.
Roasted Kernel: Various levels of roast are achieved by varying the time in the oven which is set at a standard temperature of 200 Celsius.

For clients wanting a simply blanched product for further processing such as baking or cooking the time is set at a minimum sufficient to ensure pellicle removal but not significantly alter the flavour from that of raw kernel.

Clients wanting a fuller level of roast more suited to use as a straight snack can specify the level wanted and the timing altered to suit. Colour can alter from cream to golden to light brown depending on level of roast achieved.

Product Care In-shell Hazelnuts can be stored for considerable time periods provided relative humidity is low. If too dry rancidity can become a problem, but this is easily detected and normal warehousing and or retail shop conditions should not prove a problem in this regard.

Raw Hazelnut kernel should be kept in sealed containers or airtight packaging and ideally refrigerated and kept away from sunlight or wide variations in temperature. The factory packs orders as required but always despatches product in appropriate airtight packaging – this should be maintained for as long as practically possible.

Roasted Hazelnuts when kept in sealed packs have a shelf life somewhat shorter than raw kernel, but provided the nuts are stored as for raw kernel any loss of freshness is within acceptable limits to most palates.

Packaging Product can be supplied in bulk bags, or retail packaging. The company has its own retail branded re-sealable 100, 200 and 500 gram packaging.

All product can be Bar-coded if required.

Availability As at July 2010, the extent of the last season’s grower crop is not established but is anticipated to be in the order of 40 tonnes in-shell, but possibly more. This is expected to increase rapidly in the next 4 – 5 years as more recently planted orchards begin to bear crop. Projections of crop from shareholder growers indicate total available production in the order of 20,000 kilos of kernel over the next 12 months rising to 40,000 kilos by 2015.
Organic Status No shareholders are currently certified as organic growers, but standard best practice means that because there is no reason to spray trees to prevent or control disease crops are spray free. However, to assist with removing suckers that grow from the base of the trees contact herbicides or organic certified sprays are commonly used. This practice avoids labour intensive ground level pruning.

To enable efficient harvesting it is also necessary to maintain a clear orchard floor and this is done by use of either contact or systemic herbicides.

The common sprays used are well recognised and very widely used outside the nut industry and considered safe - the most popular sprays are Buster and RoundUp; with the organic spray Interceptor used by some growers.

Comparison with
imported Hazelnuts
The size and shape of the nuts are virtually indistinguishable, but the blanching qualities of imported nuts are variable and in some varieties almost non-existent.

The major difference for the consumer is probably freshness. The shipment time alone of imported nuts takes a large part of their safe shelf life and allowing for warehousing and transhipment here in New Zealand it is not surprising that many people report imported nuts as stale tasting and often rancid.

This is seen as both an advantage and a disadvantage. Clearly people prefer the New Zealand grown product, but unfortunately have often been deterred from trying Hazelnuts again because of their experiences with imported product.