Different types of Iranian Pistachios and Products of Pistachios - Ratinkhosh
Iranian Pistachio Products Ratinkhosh

Different types of Iranian Pistachios and Products of Pistachios

Ratinkhosh R&D Team

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Iranians call the pistachio “Green Gold” because of its intense flavor and cultural popularity. Iranian pistachio producers provide a wide variety of premium pistachios which are handpicked to ensure the highest quality. They take pride in their broad range of pistachios, which enables them to offer our customers a product that will fit their terms and requirements perfectly, whatever they may be.

As well as shelled pistachios, they provide pistachio kernels too. Kernels went through a shelling process, which means they aren’t offered in a shell at the end of the production process. Among these nuts range, there are Green Peeled Kernels. This type of pistachio kernel is categorized as fresh and raw pistachio as it’s collected one to two months before the more conventional-looking natural pistachios. Green Peeled Kernels experience a long process to release the kernel from the shell and peel.

Here is a brief description for each of the Iranian pistachio products:

Iranian In-Shell Pistachios

Pistachios are famous for their excellent flavor and fun easy-to-crack shells. As a special treat, they are popular during the holidays. These remarkable pistachios are dry roasted in the shell, with salt, and do not include any dyes.

Iranian In-Shell Pistachios

The commercial pistachio varieties of Iran are these types:

  • Akbari Pistachio (Super Long Pistachio)
  • Ahmad Aghaei Pistachio (Long Pistachio)
  • Fandoghi Pistachio (Round Pistachio)
  • Kalleh ghouchi Pistachio (Jumbo Pistachio)
  • Badami Pistachio (Row Long Pistachio)

Each cultivar is classified in three groups:

  • Naturally Opened Pistachios
  • Mechanically Opened Pistachios
  • Closed Shell Pistachios

Naturally Open In-Shell Pistachios:

Used purely as a yummy snack, it’s roasted in-shell. Open in-shell pistachios are mostly transported as raw dried, in bulk. Raw dried pistachios have an almost unlimited storage life if stored in moderately dry conditions. Pistachio yield is about 53% to 58%, depending on the type and seasonal fluctuations.

Roasted pistachios are also exported. They have a long shelf life too, as long as they’re vacuumed or nitrogen flash packed.

Uses: Snacks, Desserts, Foods, etc.

Mechanically Opened (MO):

As you may know, some part of closed shell pistachios are used to provide opened pistachios. These are closed-shell pistachios that have been mechanically opened to look similar to the naturally open pistachios. The difference between them is that the naturally open pistachios are a lower kernel weight to the in-shell ratio.

Pistachio yield (the meat (kernel) percentage) of these mechanically opened pistachios is around 46% to 50%. However, things like the percentage of moisture in the products is also important.

Uses: MOs are used as snacks.

Closed Shell Pistachios:

This kind of Iranian pistachios is naturally closed and has not opened yet. Throughout the process of shelling, closed-shell pistachios grow natural kernels by a mechanical procedure. All types of pistachios have closed shell-type too, and the yield kernels are 46-50%.

On average, 5% of Iranian Pistachios are closed shell pistachios which are exported from Iran each year with an estimated total value of over USD 100 million. The main market for this product is the Far East.[1]

Uses: Snacks, foods and Art.

Iranian Pistachio Kernels

The Iranian pistachio kernel is more delightful than other kinds of pistachios in the world and has a high quality due to the ideal climate of Iran. This delicious product is very famous around the world and has gained its market in most countries. The naming of this product is usually based on the varieties of Iranian pistachios, such as Ahmad Aghaei, Akbari, Jumbo, Badami, and Fandoghi.

Pistachio Kernel is collected from both closed-shell and naturally open pistachios but differs in price. Naturally open pistachio’s kernels are more expensive because of the costly and time-consuming process. There are also all kinds of Kernels from green to ripe.

Natural Pistachio Kernels:

Natural pistachio kernels are rich in size and color. This type of Iranian pistachio kernels is obtained from both open and closed-shell pistachios. The open shell pistachios are broken by hand. Therefore the procedure takes longer time; also, the price is higher compared to closed-shell kernels.

Uses: This type is proper for confectionaries, mainly where pistachios will be used as it is, without blending or powdering, for example, Baklava or Turkish delights.

Green Peeled Pistachio Kernels (GPPK):

The peeled kernel is perceived as the most excellent and expensive among all types of pistachios.  In Iran, this output is achieved by harvesting pistachios before they are fully ripe so that the green color of the kernel has not become yellowish. These pistachios are dried in the sun (cooked air drying is not allowed) and shelled. The nuts are soaked in boiling water before the softened grain coat is mechanically extracted.

Green peeled kernels come from Kaal (Raw) kernel meats and can be classified into 4-5 types by the percentage of green color in them and the market gives premium prices to the more intense green colored kernels. for example, dark green, green, greenish, yellow and light yellow. They are mostly described according to these grades: A, B, C, D, E

Pistachios Grade

Uses: They are used as food ingredients in chocolates, pastries, ice creams, and sausages, where a small amount of the green kernels provides an aura of refinement and luxury to the product.

pistachio oil beside the iranian pistachio

Pistachio Oil:

Pistachio oil is obtained from pressing pistachios. It includes a percentage of omega-three fatty acids, which decrease the risk of diseases and heart attacks.

This oil can be distilled through a hydrophile tool to remove all traces of aflatoxins, which are dissolvable in water. This means that as aflatoxin regulations become more stringent, more and more quantities of pistachio oil will have to be provided.

Uses: Pistachio oil is directly used in cosmetics and salad dressings.

pistachio paste recipe

Pistachio Paste:

Pistachio paste comes from roasted milled pistachio kernels which can be sweetened or without added sugar. This delicious paste is a processed product which contains 100% high-quality Iranian pistachio. Its unique flavor and bizarre features have made it accessible to be used in a diversity of applications in different industries such as culinary, chocolate, confectionery, ice cream and the dairy industry. The best thing is that the fat in this product is the natural pistachio nut fat, which has no cholesterol.

Uses: Pistachio paste can be used as a spread or in pastries.



It’s the light-green nut that makes everything look more cheerful. In some nations, it’s also known as the happy or smiling nut – yes, when the hard-shell splits, it can seem like a smiling face. However, this is a perfect nut that provides more than good looks. It’s a nutritional substation and even a world champion!


[1] http://iranpistachio.org/en/pistachios/products

Different types of Iranian Pistachios and Products of Pistachios

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