By Maddy Rohr, K-State Research and Extension news service
Manhattan, KS — Pecans and other nuts are popular gifts during the holidays, but proper storage is essential to extend shelf life and quality, said Kansas State University horticulture expert Ward Upham.
“Excessive water loss can lead to shriveled nutmeats, and the fats and oils in nuts can quickly spoil – developing an off-flavor or rancid taste,” Upham said.
Shelled or unshelled nuts should be kept in the refrigerator, but Upham said the freezer is best.
“Nuts quickly absorb flavors from other stored products, so store them in a tightly sealed container so they won’t lose water or absorb flavors from other fruits or vegetables,” Upham said.
Upham recommends a solid plastic container with a tightly fitted lid or a heavy-grade, re-sealable plastic bag.
“If nutmeats are tightly sealed, they can be stored in a freezer for up to one year but using them within six months is preferred,” he said.
Upham and his colleagues in K-State’s Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources produce a weekly Horticulture Newsletter with tips for maintaining home landscapes and gardens. The newsletter is available to view online or can be delivered by email each week.