Internal Kernel Discoloration (IKD) is a recent cosmetic concern discovered in the Golden and Lost Hills varieties of pistachios, which now make up about half of the total planted acreage of California pistachios. While IKD is only noticeable inside the kernel and does not alter the flavor of the nut and is of no food safety concern, USDA Specialty Crops Inspection has indicated that they intend to consider this as a defect under the voluntary USDA Grades and Standards for pistachios and would score it as “damage”. The industry strongly disagrees with USDA on this as it would cause unnecessary and costly problems should they choose to move forward with this. Watch this brief interview with Bob Klein from the California Pistachio Research Board to learn more.
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