Acorns


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Acorns

 

the fruit of oaks. An acorn contains a seed com-posed of a small embryo, two large fleshy seed halves with food reserves, and a sheath. The base of the acorn is covered by a cupped husk.

Acorns ripen at the end of September or the beginning of October; they fall to the ground with the coming of frosts. Collected for planting after they fall from the trees, the acorns are covered with layers of sand or earth and then stored at temperatures from +3° to -2°C. Acorns are used for making a coffee substitute and for animal feed (particularly for swine). After being carefully dried for winter storage, the acorns should be hulled and ground. They have little protein but are rich in easily digested carbohydrates, chiefly starch. In 100 kg of fresh unshelled acorns there are approximately 70 nutritional units and 2.5 kg of digestible protein; in dried unshelled acorns there are 115 nutritional units and 4.3 kg of protein. Acorns also contain tannins which give them an acidic and bitter taste and have a constipating effect. For partial extraction of these substances, acorns are soaked in cold water. It is recommended that they be mixed with feeds that have a laxative effect, such as brans, roots, and molasses.

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