What are these black spots on raw pecan halves?

Asked August 18, 2015, 2:16 PM EDT

I regularly buy raw pecan halves at a nut store, and notice that invariably some of them have black spots about 3-5mm in diameter. The black areas tend to be indented rather than even with the surrounding area or raised. Photos attached. Can you shed any light?

Pennsylvania food safety pecan trees pecan

1 Response

This is pecan kernel spot that is a bitter spot created by stink bugs and other sucking insects that attack the nuts before they ripen. You can spray trees to limit bug damage during the early phases of growth and pick up and dry the nuts to prevent further damage or infestation. While the nuts are safe to eat you may want to trim off the black spots prior to use. For more info:
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/fruit-nut/fact-sheets/evaluating-pecan-problems/

Thanks, G.