The Napasol process is validated for a 5 log kill on Salmonella and other pathogens on hazelnuts and other nuts and seeds, said the cooperative.
Jeff Fox, president of Hazelnut Growers of Oregon, said the number of samples from the field that test positive warrants the investment to protect interests of their growers and the commercial development of the cooperative.
Nuts are treated at relatively low temperatures and the saturated steam is dry so the process preserves sensory attributes of the raw nuts while delivering microbial reduction.
It is a natural alternative to other pasteurization processes such as propylene oxide, said Napasol.
Dieter Kundig CEO of Napasol, said there was a clear trend for pasteurization of nuts, for example pistachios and walnuts, as they have been involved in recalls.
“This investment gives a unique advantage to Hazelnut Growers of Oregon and also anticipates regulatory measures that will affect the entire nut industry with the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act and with the outcome of FDA’s ongoing tree nut risk assessment.”
The investment in the pasteurization line in the Cornelius facility means the cooperative can supply naturally pasteurized hazelnuts, in-shell and kernels, to domestic and international markets.