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Scientific name: Carya illinoensis (Wang.) K.
Popular name: pecan, American nut; pecan nut, in English
Botanical family: Jungladaceae
Origin and dispersion: pecan walnut is native to the South of the United States, where it can be found in a native state. In Brazil, it was introduced around 1910.
General characteristics of pecan
Plant: walnut pecan is a large plant, which requires spacing of 9 x 9 m or 10 x 10 m.
Fruit: the size of the nuts is quite variable with the cultivar, being necessary from 60 to 160 nuts to reach the weight of 1 kg. Each nut weighs from 60 to 150 g, with 50% to 60% of almond yield, depending on the variety. It is elongated and smooth, different from the European nut. Of its high total fat content, a good part is unsaturated oils. The seed is nutritious and sweet, consumed after extraction from the shell, smooth on the outside and brown, with black spots. The fruits are harvested from March to April. They are less preserved than the European nut and are more difficult to open than this, without breaking the seeds.
Climate and soil: plant from temperate climate, can be found in different climatic conditions. When planting, shallow, excessively dry soils and those subject to long periods of soaking should be avoided.
Propagation: it can be done by bubble grafting in summer or by grafting in winter on rootstocks from seeds.
Varieties: the commercial cultivars in Brazil come from the United States and the most important are Mahan, Frotscher, Schley, Success and Moneymaker.
Utilization: the almonds are normally consumed in natura. They can also be used as common nuts or almonds, in confectionery, in cooking and also as medicines.
Production in Brazil: the fruit is cultivated mainly in the states of the South region, being Rio Grande do Sul the main producer. More information on the link:


Vitamins – It is rich in vitamin A, with until 200 UI or 130 mcg; vitamin C – 1,0 mg; vitamin K – 3,6 mg; niacin (B3) – 1,2 mg; and thiamine – 0,6 mg (B1).
Minerals – Calcium – 7.5-11.0 mg; iron – 2.4 mg; magnesium – 130 mg; phosphorus – 300 mg; potassium – 400; zinc – 4.7 mg; manganese – 4.6 mg; selenium – 3.9 mcg.
Source: DONADIO, L.C.; ZACCARO, R.P. Fruit nutritional value

The consumption of nuts in the human diet brings beneficial effects to health. Highlight goes to pecan, which has a low content of saturated fatty acids and high rates of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids; sterols and tocopherols, molecules responsible for cardioprotective effects, and an expressive content of total phenolic compounds with possible natural antioxidant action. From its processing, 40% to 50% of the volume is residual peel, rich in phenolic compounds and tannins, which confer, when commercialized for the tea preparation, pronounced astringency to it. Another byproduct of the nut-pecan processing is the pie, resulting from the pressing to obtain the oil, rich in proteins and lipids, which can be used as ingredient in confectionery, bakery, cereal bars and dairy industries. (Prof. Dr. SIMONE R. SILVA, ESALQ/USP, Piracicaba, SP).