Making Almond Products is a Zero Waste Business

Posted on : May 8th, 2018

Almond ShellsHere at Maisie Jane’s we believe in using every part of the almonds we harvest. Luckily, processing almonds is a very efficient system, leaving zero waste with all the by-products and creative uses of them. Ever since the early 60’s there has been a stable market for almond hulls to the dairy industry.  This is where the majority of the almond hulls are sold.  They are used as roughage feed for dairy cows, and that feed is said to aid with healthy milk production. The crushed shells can even be used as a road or driveway paving material.

Recently, however, there have been a number of new innovations! According to an article by Fast Company, a USDA research lab in Berkeley, California, has come up with ways to use almond waste to make recycled plastic, make delicious tasting beer, and even use as an alternative renewable fuel source!

Ground almond shells have some very interesting properties. When ground to a powder and added to recycled plastic, it makes the plastic stronger! And even though they taste too bitter for most human consumption, almond shells do contain sugar. That means the sugar can be processed out to make ethanol. At least one company is already in the process of building the first ever almond-fueled biofuel plant for making renewable diesel. This may or may not turn out to be terribly profitable but we know one local industry that might be able to make use of that tasty almond sugar—beer-makers!

A few different companies have been experimenting with making hard cider and IPAs. And here in Chico, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company used almonds from Maisie Jane’s a few years ago to try out an almond-enhanced dark porter beer they called Baltic Joy! It got rave reviews as a short-time specialty item. Who knows where it will go from here!

Baltic Joy

Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products, Inc. was founded on strong beliefs and passion for offering unique, flavorful, top-quality, nut products. We strongly believe in earth-friendly practices that start on our family owned and operated orchards. We use Organic farming practices and continue in the process by using all-natural ingredients with no preservatives or GMOs. We believe in honest, friendly and helpful customer relations at all levels. We take pride in every task, every day, with every person.