Hazelnut

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Scientific Name: Corylus Avellana

Family: Betulaceae

Common Name: Hazelnut

Health Benefits

Hazelnut is a very good source of soluble fibers and manganese, a trace element that is involved in antioxidant systems of our body. Scientific studies have resulted that hazelnuts contribute to the increase of the antioxidant potential of blood plasma by 20%. They contain no cholesterol and they are high in folic acid, a vitamin that protects against genetic abnormalities, cancer and heart disease.
They are very rich in fat and mostly “good” monounsaturated fat (from the total fat, 76% is monounsaturated). They offer high amount of proteins and carbohydrates, B vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Cultivation

The Hazelnut tree starts producing in 3-4 years after cultivated.It reaches its maximum production at 8-12 years and can be productive up to 50 years. The production amounts to an average of 120 kg dry grain per year. The hazelnut is a tree mostly growing in temperate regions but withstands temperatures approaching -25 ° C.
The distance of the planting trees is 7 x 6m. Usually 4 saplings are planted in place.

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Italy is the country producing the highest amount of hazelnuts in the European Union since it produces 78,5% of the production, followed by Spain with 14,5%, France and Greece with 2.7% of the total production.
The Hazelnut tree is planted in squares in rectangles, lines or equilateral triangles. The planting distances are usually 5 x 6 meters where the hazels be grown as a tree or 7 x 8 in case they are cultivated as bushes. The tree comes into fruition by the fourth year, the efficiency is maximized in its sixth year and stabilized until the twelfth. Harvesting is done manually or mechanically , similarly to the almond and walnut. Immediately after harvesting the fruits are peeled and dried and then the nuts are whitened.