Agri-Neo and Hazelnut Growers of Oregon (HGO) Announce Partnership to Enhance Food Safety and Quality for Hazelnuts

HGO invests in upgrading pasteurization technology to Neo-Pure to set new food safety and quality standards for the global hazelnut industry.

Agri-Neo is pleased to announce its partnership with Hazelnut Growers of Oregon (HGO), a leading U.S. hazelnut processing company with over 200 farmer members, to set up its Neo-Pure Pasteurization system for hazelnuts. HGO is moving away from steam pasteurization and upgrading to Neo-Pure organic pasteurization allowing HGO to provide higher quality products to the market and realize significant cost savings and operational efficiencies.

“As an SQF Level 3, Food Processor, safety and quality are always HGO’s top priorities,” said Gerry Watts, President of HGO. “This latest upgrade demonstrates HGO’s ongoing commitment to improving the safety, sensory, and quality aspects of our products, whether they be used for raw, roasted, or further processed applications. We evaluated different pasteurization technologies, and Neo-Pure provided the best results. Furthermore, the Neo-Pure system, which is highly automated and operates continuously at high throughput, allows us to save significant costs in our operations in terms of labor and utilities. We are excited to set a new standard with our Neo-Pure Pasteurized (NPP) hazelnuts.”

Neo-Pure is an innovative organic pasteurization technology for hazelnuts and other low-moisture foods. It delivers up to a validated 5-log reduction of pathogens using a patented blend of organic actives in a dedicated system that can pasteurize 6,600 pounds of hazelnuts an hour in a continuous flow. Since it does not rely on heat, steam, chemical fumigation, or irradiation, Neo-Pure Pasteurized (NPP) hazelnuts maintain food integrity, meaning the natural sensory characteristics (such as CRUNCH), quality, nutrition, and shelf life remain unchanged, just as nature intended.

“We are thrilled about our partnership with HGO,” said Robert Wong, President of Agri-Neo. “Neo-Pure is a validated and scientifically proven pasteurization technology for hazelnuts. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance is an area of focus for food processors, and many are considering replacing their proprietary or older pasteurization methods with one that is validated and proven to work. Today, market-leading food processors and global brands use Neo-Pure to ensure food safety and grow their business. Also, third-party studies have shown that Neo-Pure Pasteurized (NPP) foods are superior in quality compared to steam-treated foods. Our work is ongoing, and we look forward to supporting HGO with the latest food safety innovation.”

HGO plans to launch Neo-Pure Pasteurized (NPP) hazelnut products at the Natural Products Expo East in Philadelphia in September.


About Hazelnut Growers of Oregon

Founded in 1984, Hazelnut Growers of Oregon, a business unit of farmer-owned cooperative Wilco, has more than 200 growers who collectively own more than 20,000 acres of prime hazelnut orchards. HGO processes a variety of hazelnut products, including in-shell, kernels, oils, butters, and baking ingredients for food service supply companies, confectionaries, snack food makers, and bakers around the globe. For more information, visit