Frontier Natural Products Co-op™ Becomes First U.S. Manufacturer to Commission a Napasol® Steam Pasteurization Plant

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New process ensures food safety while maintaining aroma and flavor attributes

By using Napasol’s new system, the herbs and spices are minimally exposed to steam, thereby maintaining the flavor profiles that consumers expect from the highest quality herbs and spices.

With the commissioning of the first Napasol Pasteurization Unit in the United States, Frontier Natural Products Co-op , a leader in the natural and organic herb, spice, and tea industry, extends its leadership position through food safety innovation. Most current sterilization methods, including ethylene oxide (ETO) fumigation and irradiation, cannot be used on organic products. Many steam sterilization systems previously installed in the United States are marginally effective or can affect the flavor and aroma attributes significantly.

The Napasol process uses a highly controlled program of steam injection and vacuum that is optimized for each product, insuring the highest microbiological safety by eliminating pathogens while maintaining flavor and aroma profiles in an organic and natural process. This new process also eliminates allergen cross-contamination, which is a risk in some steam sterilization systems.

Herbs and spices are sourced globally and are considered high risk products as microbial contamination may occur in the field, or during storage and processing. Although dry foods do not support microbial growth, they may still harbor pathogenic bacteria which even in small numbers can be harmful if they are used in foods which do not undergo high temperature sterilization. Sampling and microbiological testing may not be sufficient to eliminate all microbiological risks, and the industry has been affected by several major product recalls in recent years, including: peppercorns, basil, sage, paprika, cumin, and oregano (1).

Frontier has a very robust and effective quality assurance system that spans its entire supply chain and is committed to the highest levels of Good Manufacturing Practices, while continually investing in higher food safety programs. Frontier also maintains the highest AIB-rating of Superior on its third-party food safety and quality audits.

"We are very pleased to be the first manufacturer in the United States to have made the investment in Napasol's steam sterilization technology since it allows us to offer the safest herbs and spices to our customers without the use of chemicals or irradiation,” states Dr. Ravin Donald, Frontier's Vice President of Technical Services. He adds, "By using this new system, the herbs and spices are minimally exposed to steam, thereby maintaining the flavor profiles that consumers expect from the highest quality herbs and spices.”

Founded in 1976 and based in Norway, Iowa, Frontier Natural Products Co-op™ offers a full line of natural and organic products under the Frontier, Simply Organic®, Aura Cacia® and Aura Cacia Organics® brands. Products include culinary herbs, spices and baking flavors; bulk herbs and spices; and natural and organic aromatherapy products. With its range of pasteurized organic products, Frontier continues to prioritize food safety as the market for organic products continues to grow. Frontier's goal is to provide consumers with the highest-quality organic and natural products while supporting and promoting social and environmental responsibility.

Editors may directly contact either of the following subject experts:

Norway, Iowa, 52318
Contact: Dr. Ravin Donald
Telephone: 319-227-7996

CH-4153 Reinach/Switzerland
Contact: Dr. Cameon Ivarsson
Telephone: +41 79 367 21 88

(1) Micro safety white paper published by ASTA American Spice Trade Association accessible through their website at

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Steve Krusie
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