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Thread: Almonds and pasteurization page

  1. #1
    DCPrimal's Avatar
    DCPrimal is offline Junior Member
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    Almonds and pasteurization

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    Just a question about almonds...

    Unless you are buying them directly from farmers or buyers clubs, it seems that most all other almonds in stores have been pasteurized via PPO (propylene oxide) or by steam.

    Is it still useful to go through the steps of soaking/drying them since they are not truly "raw" nuts anymore and many of the enzymes are destroyed? Does soaking them remove anything that pasteurizing doesn't?

    Are almonds that have been treated like this even able to be sprouted?

    Sorry for the multiple questions - just new and a bit confused!

  2. #2
    cori93437's Avatar
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    While the "raw food" community rails and rants that these pasteurized almonds are now completely and utterly dead... and all enzymes are killed off, I seriously doubt it.
    The pasteurization process lasts all of about 20 seconds from what I understand, at 160-200 degrees I think. I just don't believe that's enough time to negate everything that is going on inside a nut since all the info on soaking that I've read states 12-24 hours is necessary. But I could be wrong... maybe the next time I'm soaking some almonds to make some almond milk (I'm very lactose intolerant) I'll keep a few by to see if they are actually sprout-able.

    So, I guess I don't have any definite answers for you... just my own guesses, and an urge to test those nuts out to see if pasteurization is as "deadly" to the rawness of a nut as those nutty raw foodies believe it is.
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
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    And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


  3. #3
    DCPrimal's Avatar
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    What you said definitely makes sense and is what I am learning towards too.

    I'll be interested to hear what you find if you end up testing a few out next time!

  4. #4
    Nady's Avatar
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    Aren't 'in shell' almonds unpasteurized? I realize the season is over, but next year stock the freezer~ also you can buy in shell almonds online~

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    cori93437's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nady View Post
    Aren't 'in shell' almonds unpasteurized? I realize the season is over, but next year stock the freezer~ also you can buy in shell almonds online~
    Yes, "in shell" nuts are completely untreated, unpasteurized, and raw.

    This is what I found about steam and PPO pasteurization...

    "Steam Processing (H2O): There are many different techniques being used throughout the industry that are acceptable forms of pasteurization that even meet the USDA Organic Program standards. Short bursts of steam are shot onto the outer skin of the almond and do not effect the nutritional integrity of the almond. This process does NOT “cook” proteins or destroy vitamins and minerals. The steam does not change the nutritional characteristics of the almonds.
    Propylene Oxide (PPO): This too is a surface treatment and does not affect the nutritional characteristics of the almonds. PPO has been used on foods since 1958 and is proven to be very effective at reducing harmful bacteria on the almonds and poses no risk to consumers. PPO residue dissipates after treatment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed that PPO poses no health risk.

    LABELED “RAW ALMONDS" - The FDA, the agency that regulates packaging labeling, has determined that raw almonds treated via Steam or PPO methods may be labeled RAW under FDA guidelines.

    ONLY TREATS THE OUTSIDE - Steam (H2O) and Propylene Oxide (PPO) treatments only affect the outside surface of the almond. Unlike juice, milk, eggs and canned foods, raw almonds can achieve equal safety protection against harmful bacteria without affecting the inner core.

    WHAT MIGHT I NOTICE? – Many of the industry leaders use the PPO method. It is reasonable in price and is not noticeable to the consumer. Most retail stores and warehouses will sell RAW Almonds that have been PPO Treated. We find that most of our consumers that are looking for “non-pasteurized almonds” are very against the PPO Treatment since it is a chemical process (regardless of the EPA’s findings). Steam (H2o) treated raw almonds might have a slightly different color to them. Especially on the scratched areas on the almond, H20 will dull the bright white scratches, and soften the overall almond. You will notice they are not as crunchy as non-H20 treated almonds. "
    Almond pasteurization as dictated by the Almond Board of California and the US Department of Agriculture.

    So... the statements are that it is simply a surface treatment intended to kill off any bad bacteria from the surface of the nut only. Which makes sense to me and was what I assumed from reading about the treatments previously.

    I'm still going to try to sprout some... I'm starting a soak tonight so I should have this enzyme thing figured out pretty soon (a couple of days). If all the enzymes have been destroyed then it should not sprout. I intend to try 10 nuts to get a decent sample size without wasting a whole bag.
    Almond Sprouts
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
    ~Friedrich Nietzsche
    And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


  6. #6
    The Big L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cori93437 View Post
    I'm still going to try to sprout some... I'm starting a soak tonight so I should have this enzyme thing figured out pretty soon (a couple of days). If all the enzymes have been destroyed then it should not sprout. I intend to try 10 nuts to get a decent sample size without wasting a whole bag.
    Almond Sprouts
    So...how'd it turn out? Old thread, I know. But I'm nervously eyeing a bowl of steam-pasteurized "raw" almonds that I'm about to soak overnight before dehydrating. Just wondering how it worked out for you.

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