Agri-Neo has announced that its Neo-Pure continuous food safety system, and organic pasteurization process at their Toronto Headquarters, have been validated by an ABC-approved Process Authority with agreement by ABC TERP. The Neo-Pure Food Safety System equipment and conditions used in the study demonstrated an ability to meet ABC’s criteria of a minimum 4-log destruction of Salmonella bacteria on whole brownskin almonds.

“We are excited to provide a new pasteurization option to the California almond industry,” said Rob Wong, president of Agri-Neo. “Neo-Pure keeps almonds truly raw. Since it does not rely on steam or fumigation, Neo-Pure pasteurized (NPP) almonds maintain their natural quality, just as nature intended. Our almond handling and processing partners have been waiting for some time, and we are thrilled to set up Neo-Pure at their sites. We are proud to set a new food safety standard for the California almond industry.”

By law, all almonds grown in California and sold within the U.S., Canada and Mexico are required to undergo pasteurization using a validated process that has been accepted by ABC TERP. Traditionally, almonds are pasteurized using propylene oxide (PPO) fumigation or steam process, but there can be drawbacks. Neo-Pure effectively inactivates pathogens using a patented blend of organic actives that completely biodegrades during the process. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a processing aid, and therefore labeling on packaging is not required. It is also certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Program. Neo-Pure is suitable for both organic and conventional almonds. The NPP process takes place in a fully integrated continuous food safety system.

“Neo-Pure is a proven pasteurization technology for California almonds,” said Dr. Fadi Dagher, biochemistry director of Agri-Neo. “Neo-Pure is the only TERP-validated pasteurization technology validated using two surrogate bacteria: Pediococcus acidilactici and Enterococcus faecium. The use of surrogate bacteria in food safety is considered a critical component in food safety technology validations. Neo-Pure has successfully demonstrated the required minimum 4-log pathogen reduction on these two surrogates for Salmonella.”

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