→ Commercial production is restricted to areas with climates moderated by large bodies of water. The Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium is working to produce cold-hardy, heat-tolerant hybrids, which will expand the growing area.
→ The U.S. produces about 4% of the world crop behind Turkey (70%) and Italy (18%).
→ 99% of the U.S. crop is grown in Oregon's Willamette Valley.
→ Hazelnuts naturally grow as a large bush, but are pruned to a single trunk in the U.S. to facilitate mechanical harvesting.
→ Hazelnuts are sold in the shell (5-10% of the world crop) or as kernels, and are used in candies and other products, like Nutella, a blend of chocolate and hazelnut.
→ Nutella was created in the 1940s by Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker in Italy, where cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing. Ferrero Inc. also produces Ferrero Roche and other confections.
→ Ferrero also makes Tic Tacs.
→ A 2007 study showed that hazelnut shells and leaves contain taxanes, which are used to produce Taxol, a cancer-fighting drug.
→ The Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium is looking at other uses for hazelnut byproducts as well, including using shells for high-protein animal feed and oil for biofuel. Our analysis shows that hazelnuts can produce twice the amount of oil per acre as soybeans.