Nutraceutical Potential of Pine Nut
The pine nut, sometimes known as a pine kernel, is the ivory-colored, edible seed of a pine tree (genus Pinus) found in the pine cone under the scales. It is commonly consumed in a variety of cultures, particularly Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian, and in the southwestern United States by Native Americans. It is a versatile food ingredient used in savory vegetable, meat, and poultry dishes, and also in sweet baked goods and confectionaries. Harvesting and shelling the pine nut is a labor-intensive process, which limits the number of species harvested in signifi cant amounts, with the smaller kernel species not typically harvested. A list of nut-producing pine species in various geographical locations and their corresponding economic values are well summarized and can be found in Sharashkin and Gold .