A structure was purpose built to house the second Napasol pasteurization plant with separation of the raw product side from the clean room side where pasteurized product is packed.
Units are validated to a 5-log Salmonella reduction performance criterion (100,000-fold reduction) and the company has petitioned the FDA for authorization to label the treated walnuts “Pasteurized”.
The facility was oversized to custom process and build capacity so others in the walnut industry in California can sell naturally pasteurized products.
The installed pasteurization line can handle a ‘significant’ portion of the 205 million lbs walnut kernels sold annually in the North American market.
Poindexter was the first in the walnut industry to invest in a Napasol pasteurization process in 2011.
Mike Poindexter, owner and CEO of Poindexter Nut Company, said: “California walnuts are a superior product unavailable elsewhere and they should be safe, the flavor and nutritional quality of the raw nut must be preserved and the shelf life maximized.”
Poindexter added it is important the process is certified organic as consumers would object to the use of chemicals such as Propylene Oxide (PPO).
Poindexter Nut Company processes over 55 million pounds of walnuts yearly, exports to 56 countries and has a staff of more than 400 employees seasonally.