The industrial process carried out consists in cracking the almond, which has been previously hulled from its green shell (pericarp), to separate the kernel from the shell:
- The almond kernel, which still has the integument, is used for food purposes.
- The shell is commercialised to be used as biomass.
At the entrance of the cracker the initial weighing takes place, which is reflected on a ticket from the scale indicating the following points:
- Identification of the origin of the entrance (producer and plot).
- Transport and storage conditions.
- Entrance characteristics regarding the almond variety, quantity and calibre.
- Batch quality: performance, % humidity, % mixture, % rotten, etc.
After receiving the almond with the shell, the filling of the storage silos takes place.
From the silos, the clean almond is moved to the wet silos where the process starts.
The wet almond goes through a machine which function is to calibrate and crack the almond.
Firstly a separation by calibre takes place and then the cracking of the product through splitters is carried out.
Then the kernels are selected by electronic machines in order to eliminate the strange materials (shells, stones, sticks, etc).
The materials rejected from the first electronic machine go through a second one to recover the greatest number of kernels and pieces.
The rejected materials of this second electronic machine follow a later selection process regarding each splitter (gravity, skewers, electronic).
The kernels go through a gauging process and an electronic selection and through a metal detector.
It consists in eliminating the impurities of the harvest (leaves, soil, branches, dust…).
The almond is wetted to prevent the almond from getting damaged and in this way the cracking produces a whole product. It is carried out through an endless wet process where water is added.
The wet almond is stored in silos between 24 and 48 hours.
After this the cracking process starts.
The aim is to separate, through gauging and sucking methods, the products obtained after the cracking and differentiating the almonds which have been well processed from those whose shells remain. The process continues with an automatic selection phase.
The kernel is separated from the almonds which have been wrongly cracked, which are returned to the gauging and cracking machine to repeat the process.
Once the process of selection has occurred, the kernels go to the dryers, either a line drying machine or drying tanks, between 6-8 hours with hot air.
This phase means the visual inspection by a specialised human team to produce their final packaging.