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Walnuts Review 2023
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  • What did CL's tests of walnuts show?

    Each of the popular, shelled walnut products that we purchased met the requirements of Grade No. 1 walnuts, but there were important differences. Some were discovered to contain much higher amounts of fungus (mold) and signs of oxidation (e.g., darker color, higher levels of hexanal, less buttery and more stale or rancid flavor). In addition, many were misleadingly labeled as "halves and pieces" but consisted mainly of pieces. The cost to get an equivalent amount of walnuts ranged 5-fold, from just 18 cents to 99 cents per serving (about 1 ounce), but a higher price did not mean better quality. (See What CL Found for details by brand.)
  • Which are the best walnuts?

    ConsumerLab's tests identified two exceptional products (one with halves and pieces and the other consisting of chopped walnuts for baking) that not only lived up to their labels but had no detectable mold, showed no signs of oxidation, tasted great, and were very reasonably priced. (See Top Picks for details.)
  • Why eat walnuts?

    Walnuts are rich in healthful, unsaturated fats (including the essential omega-3 fatty acid, /reviews/black-currant-borage-evening-primrose-and-flaxseed-oils-sources-of-ala-and-gla-omega-3-and-6-fatty-acids/flaxseed/ALA) with no cholesterol and significant amounts of protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, zinc, and several B vitamins. (See What It Is for details.)
  • How should you store shelled walnuts?

    Shelled walnuts are typically sold in packages from which oxygen has been replaced with nitrogen to prevent oxidation — keeping walnuts fresh. But once opened, oxidation begins and, within weeks at room temperature, walnuts can become stale. However, refrigerating opened walnuts greatly slows oxidation. Be sure to refrigerate opened packages of walnuts. (See ConsumerTips for details.)
  • Concerns with walnuts:

    Walnuts can trigger allergic reactions and this can occur in people with allergies to other foods or pollens with allergens cross-reactive with those in walnuts. Some people experience mouth irritation from eating walnuts, and this may, potentially, be reduced by removing the paper-thin pellicle that covers walnut kernels and contains phenolic compounds. Be aware that walnuts can reduce iron absorption. (See Concerns and Cautions for details.)

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Shelled walnuts (halves and pieces) compared in this review

View Larger Image 365_Chopped_Walnuts-Walnuts-2023-small.png

365 Chopped Walnuts

View Larger Image 365_Halves_and_Pieces_Walnuts-Walnuts-2023-small.png

365 Halves & Pieces Walnuts

View Larger Image Diamond_Of_California_Shelled_Walnuts-Walnuts-2023-small.png

Diamond Of California Shelled Walnuts

View Larger Image Fisher_Chefs_Natural_Walnut_Halves_and_Pieces-Walnuts-2023-small.png

Fisher Chef's Natural Walnut Halves & Pieces

View Larger Image Great_Value_Halves_and_Pieces_Walnuts-Walnuts-2023-small.png

Great Value Halves & Pieces Walnuts

View Larger Image Kirkland_Signature_Walnuts-20_Halves_With_Pieces-Walnuts-2023-small.png

Kirkland Signature Walnuts - 20% Halves With Pieces

View Larger Image Members_Mark_Natural_Shelled_Walnuts-2023-small.png

Member's Mark Natural Shelled Walnuts

View Larger Image NOW_Real_Food_Unsalted_Raw_Walnuts-Walnuts-2023-small.png

NOW Real Food Unsalted Raw Walnuts

View Larger Image Nuts.com_English_Walnuts_Raw_No_Shell-Walnuts-2023-small.png English Walnuts (Raw, No Shell)

View Larger Image Southern_Grove_Shelled_Walnuts-Walnuts-2023-small.png

Southern Grove Shelled Walnuts

View Larger Image Terrasoul_Superfoods_Raw_Walnuts_Halves_and_Pieces-Walnuts-2023-small.png

Terrasoul Superfoods Raw Walnuts Halves & Pieces

View Larger Image Trader_Joes_Nuts_Raw_California_Baking_Pieces-Walnuts-2023-small.png

Trader Joe's Nuts Raw California Baking Pieces

You must be a member to get the full test results along with's recommendations and quality ratings. You will get results for 12 shelled walnut products selected for testing by In this comprehensive review of walnuts you'll learn:
  • Which chopped walnut products passed or failed testing
  • ConsumerLab's Top Picks among chopped walnut products, based on quality, freshnes, and taste
  • Amounts of yeast, mold, and oxidation we found in popular brands of chopped walnuts
  • Potential health benefits of walnuts
  • The best way to store walnuts to keep them fresh
  • Concerns with walnuts, such as allergic reactions

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Additional Information
Tested through CL's Quality Certification Program prior to, or after initial posting of this Product Review.