Skip to main content

Search Newsroom Content

Search results for "". 1903 items found

Multimedia

Almond Board Fueling Farm of the Future with $5.9 Million Research Investment

(MODESTO, Calif.) – The Almond Board of California (ABC) today announced an investment of $5.9 million dollars in 85 independent research projects exploring next-generation farming practices. With this commitment, the California almond community has invested $89 million in research since 1973 to build a foundation of knowledge on responsible farming practices, food quality and safety and almonds’ impact on human health.  A tangible example of the almond community’s commitment to continuous improvement, the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals, launched in January 2019, will leverage this research as farmers strive to meet measurable objectives with the goal of growing almonds in better, safer and healthier ways. The Almond Orchard 2025 Goals Roadmap, released today, outlines the almond community’s sustainability journey in four goal areas, as well as the metrics that the industry’s progress will be measured against. “The California almond community takes a long-term view of success based on respect for the land and local communities. Earlier this year, the California almond community set four ambitious goals aligning with our vision to make life better by what we grow and how we grow,” says Holly King, chair of the Almond Board of California. “The Almond Orchard 2025 Goals build on decades of progress, fueled by research. Fulfilling these commitments will require hard work, dedication and resources, including funding independent research to test new technologies and sharing the results as these approaches are proven.” Further Reducing the Water Used to Grow Almonds Of this year’s projects, ten focus on water with an investment of $678,000. Since 1982, California almond farmers have committed $8.1 million dollars to 221 different water research projects spanning irrigation efficiency, groundwater recharge and water quality. Together this investment has helped reduce the amount of water needed to grow each pound of almonds by 33 percent over the past 20 years. [1] By 2025, the California almond community commits to reducing the amount of water used to grow a pound of almonds by an additional 20 percent. Progress towards this goal is being measured against almond farmers’ annual irrigation water applied per unit of crop yield. While 77 percent of almond farms utilize efficient microirrigation,[2] nearly double the 42 percent average for California farms, further improvements are underway. ABC is working with farmers to support their progress up the Almond Irrigation Improvement Progress towards this goal is being measured against almond farmers’ annual irrigation water applied per unit of crop yield. While 77 percent of almond farms utilize efficient microirrigation,[1] nearly double the 42 percent average for California farms, further improvements are underway. ABC is working with farmers to support their progress up the Almond Irrigation Improvement Continuum, a roadmap created by irrigation experts that outlines key irrigation management practices and how to achieve increasing levels of precision in each area. Achieving Zero Waste by Using Everything the Orchard Grows Almonds grow in a shell, protected by a hull, on a tree, and the California almond community ensures that each of these coproducts is put to beneficial use. Since 1977, ABC has funded 79 research projects totaling $3.5 million exploring the best ways to utilize these materials, establishing traditional uses such as dairy feed, livestock bedding, and electricity generation. Thirteen new studies have been funded this year with a commitment of $607,000 dollars to determine how almond coproducts may address needs in other sectors, with promising leads in strengthening recycled plastics, creating biofuel and more. By 2025, the California almond community commits to achieving zero waste in orchards by putting everything grown to optimal use. Given that almond coproducts are widely utilized already, progress toward this goal focuses on reducing the industry’s environmental footprint and adding value – economically and environmentally – via three key measures. These include: 1) significant increases in recycling trees into the soil when an orchard is removed, using the trees’ woody biomass to build healthier soils and address climate change via increased carbon sequestration, 2) diversifying applications for hulls and shells beyond current uses in the California dairy industry and 3) the effective elimination of open burning as a means to dispose of woody biomass. Additional Opportunities for Innovation In addition to water sustainability and coproduct utilization, investing in research has also resulted in significant advancements in the areas of nutrient management, air quality and honey bee health. For example, farmers work closely with beekeepers and follow research-based best practices to ensure the safety of honey bees, essential to pollinating almonds. ABC has funded more research related to honey bee health than any other crop group,[3] with 125 projects funded to date. This year, California almond farmers have added to that investment with five new research projects totaling $336,000.  “I often think of us as surfers,” said ABC chair, Holly King. “Surfers are strategic about where to catch a wave, and we’ve done that over the years with our research investments, catching the wave that will bring the greatest return. Today’s investment will not only help farmers grow almonds more efficiently, but also ensures we’re solidly riding the wave to a more sustainable farm of the future.” ABC research projects are funded through an assessment placed on each pound of almonds grown in California. After review by third-party research advisors and workgroups focused on distinct almond farming topics, projects are selected by a committee of almond farmers and processors based on strategic alignment to industry needs and anticipated impact of the research. For more information about ABC’s 46 years of almond farming and environmental research, and to explore how this research supports the California almond community in growing the farm of the future, visit Almonds.com/GrowingGood.   [1] University of California, Feb. 2010. Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, 2012. Almond Board of California, 1990-94, 2000-14. [2] California Almond Sustainability Program. August 2019. [3] Gene Brandi. Vice President, American Beekeeping Foundation.
almond industry research
News Article
// About the Almond Board, About the Almond Industry, About the Farmers

Beauty from the Inside Out: Pilot Study Investigates the Effects of Daily Almond Consumption on Facial Wrinkles

Anti-aging regimens abound but emerging research suggests that one delicious addition to your skincare routine may be in your pantry instead of your makeup kit: almonds. A new pilot study by researchers at the University of California, Davis[1] found that a daily snack of almonds in place of other nut-free snacks improved measures of wrinkle width and severity in postmenopausal women. The study was funded by the Almond Board of California and is the first of its kind to examine almonds’ effects on skin health. A larger and longer-term follow-up study is underway. In this 16-week randomized controlled trial, 28 healthy postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin type 1 or 2 (characterized by increased tendency to burn with sun exposure) were randomly assigned to one of two groups. In the intervention group, women ate almonds as a snack, which accounted for 20% of their total daily calorie intake, or 340 calories per day on average (about 2 one-ounce servings). The control group ate a nut-free snack that also accounted for 20% of calories: a cereal bar, granola bar or pretzels. Aside from these snacks, study participants ate their regular diets and did not eat any nuts or nut-containing products. Skin assessments were made at the start of the study, and again at 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks. At each visit, facial wrinkles were assessed using high-resolution facial imaging and validated 3-D facial modeling and measurement. “These high resolution cameras allow for 3-D reconstruction of any wrinkles so that they can be mapped for their key characteristics of width and severity. The severity score is a calculation of the depth and length of a wrinkle,” explains Raja Sivamani, MD MS AP, integrative dermatologist and lead researcher on the study. Skin barrier function was also assessed, by measuring sebum production and transepidermal water loss (TEWL).  Skin barrier function examines the strength of the skin barrier and how well it protects skin from moisture loss (TEWL) and from harmful irritants coming from the environment. By the end of the study at 16 weeks, photographic image analysis showed statistically significant improvements for participants in the almond snack group compared to the control group (P<0.02): Wrinkle width decreased by 10% Wrinkle severity decreased by 9%  There were no significant changes in skin barrier function between groups.  “Food as a means of promoting skin health – the “health from the inside out” idea – is of growing interest to those looking for options for healthy aging,” says Dr. Sivamani. “It’s also a growing area of scientific research. Almonds are a rich source of antioxidant vitamin E and deliver essential fatty acids and polyphenols. They’re a smart choice for overall good nutrition. And, as seen in this study, almonds may hold promise as a food to include as part of a healthy aging diet, especially for post-menopausal women.” Study at a Glance: The Study: 28 healthy, postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin type 1 (always burns, never tans) or 2 (usually burns, tans minimally) were randomly assigned to either an intervention or a control group. Almonds were provided as 20% of total daily calorie intake for the intervention group (340 calories/day on average), about 2 one-ounce servings . The control group consumed a calorie-matched nut-free snack in place of almonds daily:  cereal bar, energy bar or pretzels. All participants were advised not to consume any nuts or nut-containing products over the course of the study (except for the almond snack for the intervention group). They otherwise were advised to continue their usual daily energy intake. After a four-week dietary wash-out period, participants were randomized to one of the two study groups detailed above. Study visits occurred at baseline, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks. Facial wrinkles were assessed using high-resolution facial photography and validated 3-D facial modeling and measurement at baseline, 8 weeks and 16 weeks. Skin barrier function was assessed by measurement of sebum production and transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Results: Photographic image analysis showed that the almond group had significant reductions in wrinkle width and severity, by 10 and 9%, respectively, compared to the control group at the 16-week time point (P<0.02). There were no significant differences in sebum production between groups after 8 and 16 weeks. There were no significant differences between groups in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) from baseline after 8 and 16 weeks. There were no significant changes from baseline in the skin barrier function (P=0.65) between the almond and control groups relative to baseline after 16 weeks.  Study Limitations: Aging is a long-lasting process so the findings from this 16-week study may be difficult to reproduce and generalize to extended periods of time. Skin-aging is also multi-factorial in nature and although certain groups were excluded (i.e., those with a smoking history), there is variance in aging confounders, such as frequency of UV light exposure and emotional stress, which were outside the scope of the study. This study was limited to cosmetic evaluation, as no measurements were made regarding collagen production. Study did not evaluate disease or younger subjects, so results are limited to otherwise healthy post-menopausal females. In addition, this was a pilot study with a limited number of participants. Future studies should expand to a larger recruitment pool.  Conclusion: Results of this pilot study suggest that daily consumption of almonds may play a role in reducing wrinkle severity in post-menopausal women. The outcomes warrant future studies with expanded population groups and additional evaluations for signs of skin aging.   [1] Foolad N, Vaughn AR, Rybak I, Burney WA, Chodur GM, Newman JW, Steinberg FM, Sivamani RK. Prospective randomized controlled pilot study on the effects of almond consumption on skin lipids and wrinkles. Phytotherapy Research. 2019;1–6. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.6495    
Pilot Study Investigates the Effects of Daily Almond Consumption on Facial Wrinkles
News Article
// Nutrition & Wellness
Type
Select All | Select None
Topic
Select All | Select None
Date