Skip to main content

Pasteurization Program

Almonds introduced into commerce in North America are required to be pasteurized using validated processes. Shipment of unpasteurized almonds to markets outside of North America are allowed only if the product is properly labeled as “unpasteurized,” and should be subjected to an appropriate process prior to introduction into commerce.

Validation and the processes.


All processes used to treat almonds must be validated by an ABC approved Process Authority and approved by ABC’s Technical Expert Review Panel. Validation is a rigorous process in which testing is conducted to demonstrate the ability to destroy microorganisms on almonds. There are several types of validated processes that effectively eliminate potential contamination in almonds without diminishing the product's quality, nutritional value, or sensory qualities (taste and crunch).  Many processes are currently in use including:


Oil Roasting, Dry Roasting, and Blanching
Traditional thermal type processes used for roasting (oil/dry) or hot water skin removal (blanching). Appropriate for organic as well as conventional almonds.

Steam Processing
Exposure of nut surface to steam for short periods of time.  Steam can be applied at ambient pressure or under vacuum at reduced temperatures.  Appropriate for organic as well as conventional almonds.

Moist Heat
Exposure of nuts to a warm and humid environment for short periods of time. Appropriate for organic as well as conventional almonds.

Propylene Oxide (PPO)
Exposure of nuts to an EPA approved fumigant treatment that rapidly dissipates after exposure. Appropriate for conventional almonds. 

Aflatoxin Requirements

Please click here to access the International Aflatoxin Tolerances Factsheet.

Pasteurization
Custom Processors
DV Auditors
DV Users
Process Authorities

For information on the Pasteurization Program, or how to become a Custom Processor, DV User, DV Auditor, or Process Authority, please email Judy Scott-Mckay at jscottmckay@almondboard.com.

Aflatoxin
ePEC login
View USDA's List of Approved PEC Labs

Incoming Inspection Resources
2021 Crop Readiness Operations Packet

PDF
Considerations for Proprietary Processes for Almond Pasteurization and Treatment, V1.0, April 13, 2007

PDF
Guidelines for using Enterococcus Faecium Nrrl B-2354 as a Surrogate Microorganism in Almond Process Validation

PDF
Guidelines for Validation of Blanching Processes, V1.0, April 13, 2007

PDF
Guidelines for Validation of Dry Roasting Processes, V1.2, October 23, 2007

PDF
Guidelines for Validation of Oil Roasting Processes, V1.0, April 13, 2007

PDF
Guidelines for Validation of Propylene Oxide Pasteurization, V3.0, October 1, 2008

PDF
Guidelines for Validation of Propylene Oxide Treatment for in-shell Almonds, V2.0, October 1, 2008