TORONTO, July 8, 2019 – Almonds are one of the most popular snacking choices amongst today’s consumers. The almond market continues to grow, and global annual production is expected to reach 3 billion pounds by 2021. Almonds grown in California alone represent approximately 80% of the world’s production. With the rapid growth and large production volume, food safety is a top priority for the almond industry.
In 2007, the Almond Board of California (ABC) and the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) implemented a regulation that requires all U.S.-grown almonds sold in North America be pasteurized. The ABC also established the Technical Expert Review Panel (TERP) to review and approve all almond pasteurization technology used in the U.S.
This month Agri-Neo submitted NEO-PURE™, organic, non-thermal pasteurization for nuts, seeds and grains, for TERP approval. The food safety scientists and engineers at Agri-Neo worked closely with an ABC-approved process authority to ensure NEO-PURE™ satisfies all food safety requirements set out by the regulation.
“Once approved, NEO-PURE™ will give the U.S. almond industry the ability to offer pasteurized California almonds that are safe and truly raw,” said Rob Wong, President of Agri-Neo. “California almond growers and processors will have the option to avoid using heat-based methods that ‘cook’ almonds and propylene oxide (PPO), a known carcinogen toxic to humans. NEO-PURE™ pasteurized almonds will retain germination, and thereby be able to sprout. NEO-PURE™ will be the only TERP-approved, organic, non-thermal pasteurization.”