Hazelnuts are the nuts of the hazel. Hazelnuts consist of a hard shell with an edible kernel. The kernel has a thin, dark brown skin, which is sometimes removed before cooking. Hazelnuts are popular amongst mice and jays, which is how the trees spread in the wild.

Harvesting, sorting and cleaning hazelnuts is mainly done manually. That is, most growers wait for the trees to drop their nuts and leaves, which happens in mid-autumn. Having been cleaned, the nuts are moved to large factories to be mechanically cracked, blanched, polished, chopped and/or ground into flower before being prepared for shipment.

Hazelnuts are often consumed in combination with chocolate, can be processed to praline and are a key ingredient in products like Nutella and Frangelico liqueur. Hazelnut oil is strongly flavoured and used as cooking oil.

Hazelnuts are rich in protein and unsaturated fat. Moreover, they contain significant amounts of thiamine and vitamin B6, as well as smaller amounts of other B-vitamins. Hazelnuts make a good snack for expectant mothers, as they are exceptionally rich in folate, which helps prevent neural tube defects in new-borns. Hazelnuts are gluten free.


The two most commonly known varieties of hazelnuts are both from Turkey, which is by far the biggest producer in the world. All hazelnuts from the province of Giresun, by the Black Sea Coast of North-eastern Turkey, are named Giresun, after the province. Al other hazelnuts from Turkey are collectively called Levant.


The type FAQ (fair average quality) is essentially unsorted and still covered in its brown skin.

Other than those, there are calibrated natural hazelnuts (not blanched) of the following measures:

  • 9/11 mm
  • 11/13 mm
  • 13/15 mm
  • larger than 15 mm

For blanched nuts, which are evidently slightly smaller, the following measures are common:

  • 7/10 m
  • 10/12 mm
  • 12/14 mm
  • larger than 15 mm


Hazelnuts might be processed into flour, diced nuts, chopped pieces, sliced naturals or paste. They are commonly sold roasted, salted, flavoured or raw.

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Proximates Units
Energy kcal 628
Protein g 14,95
Carbohydrate g 16,7
Fiber g 9,7

Total fat g 60,75
Saturated fat g 4,464
Monounsaturated fat g 45,652
Polyunsaturated fat g 7,92
Cholesterol mg 0

Calcium mg 114
Iron mg 4,7
Magnesium mg 163
Phosphorus mg 290
Potassium mg 680
Sodium mg 0
Selenium mcg 2,4

Vitamin A IU 20
Vitamin B6 mg 0,563
Vitamin C mg 6,3
Vitamin E mg 15,03
Vitamin K mcg 14,2
Carotene, beta mcg 11
Carotene, alpha mcg 3
Cryptoxanthin, beta mcg 0
Lutein + zeanxanthin mcg 92
* Hazelnuts are unroasted
"Source: USDA National Nutrient Database
for Standard Reference, Release 26 (2013)"
g = gram; mg = miligram ; mcg = microgram; IU = International Units


Turkey is the largest producer of hazelnuts in the world with approximately 75 per cent of worldwide production. Any hazelnuts consumed in Western Europe are almost exclusively Turkish.

Other countries that produce hazelnuts in commercial quantities are Azerbaijan, Italy, Greece, Georgia, Spain (Catalonia), the UK (county of Kent) and the American states of Oregon and Washington. 


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