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Almond Board of California Fueling Innovation with $6.8 Million Research Investment

The Almond Board of California (ABC) announced a $6.8 million investment in 75 independent research projects exploring next-generation farming practices including optimal use of everything almond orchards grow. In addition to improving production practices, the research projects help the California almond community provide almond lovers around the world with a safe, wholesome and sustainable product. The announcement was made at the 46th annual Almond Conference, an event held in Sacramento, Calif., convening almond farmers, processors and researchers to discuss the latest science behind responsible almond farming. ABC’s research programs provide a scientific basis for best practices across several priority areas, including water sustainability, pollinator health and finding new uses for almond coproducts, including hulls, shells and woody material. “Innovation is at the core of sustainable almond farming. Driven by family farmers, the almond community is committed to continuous improvement, ensuring a better environment and future for our children and grandchildren, neighbors and employees,” said Almond Board of California President and CEO, Richard Waycott. “Since 1973 almond farmers and processors have invested $80 million in research through the Almond Board to improve our understanding of almonds’ impact on human health, ensure food quality and safety, and improve farming practices while minimizing environmental impacts.” Finding New Uses for Almond Coproducts Almonds grow in a shell, protected by a hull, on a tree. Farmers have always taken responsibility for these coproducts, ensuring they are put to beneficial use rather than sent to landfill. Today, the California almond community is focusing research investment on optimal uses for these coproducts, embracing a zero-waste approach that addresses critical needs across multiple industries. This year ABC funded nine coproducts-focused research projects totaling $1.2 million with applications spanning from in-orchard utilization to value-added uses. “We enjoy working with the almond community because their goals align with ours. The Almond Board is investing in research so nothing goes to waste, with the goal of a neutral footprint,” said Lydia Palma, researcher and PhD student at University of California, Davis. “Our research partnership focuses on developing new technologies to convert almond coproducts into valuable products.” Three ongoing almond coproduct research projects showing promising results are: Recycled Polypropylene-Polyethylene Torrified Almond Shell  Biocomposites. USDA-ARS, Western Regional Research Center[1] – Almond shells have traditionally been used as livestock bedding. This research explores how almond shells, transformed to a charcoal-like powder through a process known as torrefaction, can serve as a strengthening agent and colorant for post-consumer recycled plastics. Cultivation of Black Soldier Fly Larvae on Almond Byproducts. University of California, Davis[2] – Almonds’ sugary, fibrous hulls can feed animals big and small, including the emerging world of insect farming. This research project explores raising black soldier fly larvae, used as a feedstock for poultry and aquaculture, on almond hulls. Almond Hull Byproducts as a Casing Amendment Material in Mushroom Cultivation. USDA-ARS, Western Regional Research Center[3] – With their sugars removed for other uses, the remaining hull material can serve as an alternative to traditional peat moss for mushroom cultivation. This research project explores using almond hulls as a growing medium for commercial mushrooms, with preliminary results showing several benefits including optimal water absorption and increased yields. “Creating new ways to use a product that has historically been thought of as a single-use item is very exciting,” said Mike Curry, almond huller/sheller with Johnson Farms. “The entire production and supply chain, including the consumer, will benefit from the development of new products from almond hulls and shells.” Additional Opportunities for Innovation Commitment to scientific research supports the California almond community in growing the farm of the future. To improve water sustainability, farmers are adopting precision irrigation technology and exploring replenishing underground aquifers through on-farm groundwater recharge. To ensure the safety of honey bees, essential to pollinating almonds, farmers work closely with beekeepers and follow research-based best practices. Research continues to fine-tune the optimal approach to planting bee pastures which supply additional nutrition to bee hives and other nearby pollinators. Water and honey bee-focused research projects funded by ABC this year include $610,000 to nine water projects and $579,000 to seven honey bee health projects. This builds upon more than 200 water research projects funded since 1982, helping farmers reduce the water needed to grow a pound of almonds by 33% over the past 20 years,[1] and, with 120 projects funded to date, ABC has supported more honey bee health research than any other crop group.[2] Almond Board research projects are funded through an assessment paid per pound of almonds produced. After review by 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 45 years of almond farming and environmental research, visit Almonds.com/GrowingGood. Media Contact: Kelsey Johnson – 617-897-8262; Kelsey.johnson@porternovelli.com Julia Hannon – 212-601-8234; Julia.hannon@porternovelli.com     [1] Zach McCaffrey, et al. Recycled polypropylene-polyethylene torrefied almond shell biocomposites. Journal of Industrial Crops and Products. December 2018. [2] Lydia Palma, et al. Cultivation of black soldier fly larvae on almond byproducts: impacts of aeration and moisture on larvae growth and composition. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. December 2018. [3] Allison Flynn, et al. Almond hull byproducts as a casing amendment material in mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) cultivation. Mushroom News. American Mushroom Institute. October 2018. bit.ly/2TTlM9V [4] University of California, Feb. 2010. Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, 2012. Almond Board of California, 1990-94, 2000-14. [5] Gene Brandi. Vice President, American Beekeeping Federation.  
almond orchard in bloom
News Article
// About the Almond Board, About the Almond Industry

Think You Know Almond Milk? Think Again: With New Recipes From Julie Resnick And The Feedfeed That Will Change The Way You Use Almond Milk – In All Ways!

Modesto, Calif. – November 8, 2018 – The Almond Board of California is partnering with Julie Resnick -  founder of the media company Feedfeed and the popular @thefeedfeed Instagram community – to share new ways to use almond milk in a variety of versatile recipes through photos and videos on Instagram. To participate, follow @thefeedfeed and @CaliforniaAlmonds, and share your almond milk recipe by tagging @thefeedfeed and @CaliforniaAlmonds with the hashtag #almondmilkallways. Almond milk is used most often with smoothies, coffee and cereal, though it’s versatility means it can be added to almost any recipe like sauces and soups, and puddings, frozen desserts and more. From savory to sweet foods and baked goods, almond milk provides guilt-free creamy texture and appealing flavor for almost any recipe. Julie will share a series of unique, custom almond milk recipes on Feedfeed’s Instagram and website, encouraging the Feedfeed community to create and share their own almond milk recipes as well. One participant will be selected each month to receive a culinary-inspired prize and the chance to have their recipe featured on Feedfeed’s Instagram channels. “I see first-hand the creative recipe content that is shared each day across the Feedfeed community on #feedfeed, and I am so excited to see all of the ways that almond milk will be used over the next year by the Feedfeed Community in new recipes,” said Resnick. “Almond milk is a versatile ingredient that so many people already have in their refrigerator, making it readily accessible and easy to cook with. The team at The Feedfeed has had a lot of fun formulating our own almond milk recipes based on what our community is most interested in, which we hope inspires our followers to incorporate it into dishes they already enjoy, like savory skillet casseroles, noodle bowls, and even cookies and pancakes.” Julie Resnick launched @thefeedfeed’s Instagram community to provide cooking inspiration, recipes and help connect people she saw creating great content on Instagram and other social media networks. As Julie explained, “We wanted to provide a place that could be a source of inspiration for the average cook, searchable by ingredient, cooking style, or meal type; but which was also a living and breathing community, providing a lens into kitchens around the world, changing with the seasons, and hopefully inspiring people to cook more and to use more local and seasonal products.” Now, with one of the most highly engaged communities on Instagram, Feedfeed’s global reach spans over two million followers across its eight channels, with 1.4 million followers on the main account, @thefeedfeed. Feedfeed also offers sub-channels focused on vegan, gluten-free and chocolate-based recipes, inspiration for baking and cocktail recipes, and a channel dedicated to recipe videos. Additionally, #feedfeed is one of the most widely used hashtags for home cooking on Instagram, having been tagged over 11 million times with nearly 20k posts submitted daily by people around the world. Almond milk is a low-carbohydrate and low-sugar option, with unsweetened varieties offering as few as 30 calories and zero grams of sugar. With no saturated fat or cholesterol, almond milk is a fit for many diets and dietary restrictions and can be swapped for dairy in recipes for those seeking an alternative. The Almond Board’s partnership with Julie Resnick and @thefeedfeed follows a successful almond milk crowdsourced recipe campaign hosted by California almonds. To view the most popular, winning recipes with almond milk, along with other almond milk recipes for inspiration, visit http://www.almonds.com/consumers/almond-milk.
almond four pancakes
News Article
// Nutrition & Wellness
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