uses JavaScript to provide the best possible experience for our content, but your browser has it disabled. Learn how to enable it here.


Best Shelled Walnuts According to ConsumerLab Tests
White Plains, New York, December 7, 2023 —  Fresh walnuts are rich in healthful, unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, and certain vitamins and minerals, but how fresh and pure are packaged, shelled walnuts? And does higher cost guarantee better quality or taste?

To find out, ConsumerLab recently selected, purchased, and tested popular packaged shelled walnuts (halves and pieces) for hexanal, a compound that increases as walnuts become oxidized, as well for contamination with yeast, mold, and heavy metals. Products were also evaluated for color and taste, as walnuts tend to darken and become more bitter with oxidation, and for shape.

Although there was no visible mold on any of the walnuts, ConsumerLab tests revealed four of the twelve products tested had much higher amounts of mold and/or yeast than the others. Most products had low to modest levels of hexanal, indicating relatively low levels of oxidation. However, only two products contained no detectable hexanal, and one product contained nearly ten times the amount of hexanal found in many other brands. In addition, many products were misleadingly labeled as "halves and pieces" but consisted mainly of pieces. The cost for a 1-ounce serving of walnuts from the products ranged from 18 to 99 cents per serving, and products that were more expensive were not more likely to be of higher quality than less expensive brands.

Among the products that passed all tests of quality, ConsumerLab selected its Top Picks among walnuts based on freshness, quality, and taste.

The results are available online in ConsumerLab's new Shelled Walnuts (Halves and Pieces) Review, which includes test results and comparisons for 12 products selected for testing by ConsumerLab: 365 [Whole Foods Market] Chopped Walnuts, 365 Halves & Pieces Walnuts, Diamond of California Shelled Walnuts, Fisher Chef’s Natural Walnut Halves & Pieces, Great Value [Walmart] Halves & Pieces Walnuts, Kirkland Signature [Costco] Walnuts – 20% Halves With Pieces, Member’s Mark [Sam’s Club] Natural Shelled Walnuts, NOW Real Food Unsalted Raw Walnuts – Halves and Pieces, English Walnuts (Raw, No Shell), Southern Grove [Aldi] Shelled Walnuts, Terrasoul Superfoods Raw Walnuts Halves & Pieces, and Trader Joe’s Nuts Raw California Baking Pieces.

As explained in the Review, walnuts can be a good source of healthful fats, including the essential omega-3 fatty acid, ALA, without cholesterol, and contain significant amounts of protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, zinc, and several B vitamins. The report summarizes the evidence for and against eating walnuts to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, what to look for when choosing walnuts, and the best way to store and prepare walnuts, including how to reduce astringent taste. It also discusses potential concerns with walnuts, including contamination with mold and mycotoxins, pesticides on walnuts, how walnuts may interfere with iron absorption, and allergic reactions to walnuts. A video with expert tips for selecting walnuts is also available.

Founded in 1999, is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Membership to is available online and provides immediate access to continually updated reviews of nearly every popular type of dietary supplement and health food, answers to reader questions, and product recalls and warnings. ConsumerLab also provides independent product testing through its voluntary Quality Certification Program. The company is privately held and based in New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.

How to Choose the Best Walnuts - Dr. Tod Cooperman MD

— END — 

Members of the media contact may contact or call the main number (914-722-9149). Please include the name of your news organization when contacting us.