Grower Direct Nut Company Obtains Almond Board of California TERP Approval with Napasol Almond Pasteurizer

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The Grower Direct Nut Company of Hughson California gets TERP approval for Almonds on their Napasol Pasteurizer. The high capacity Napasol line is currently validated for pasteurizing walnuts. With this Almond Board of California approval, the company plans to add Almond Pasteurization services to its commercial activity.

Bing moving into the preheater

Grower DIrect 6 bin Napasol pasteurizer

TERP approval for our Napasol pasteurization line for almonds is a big deal allowing to expand applications and develop toll services to Almond growers in California

Grower Direct Nut Company of Hughson California, has successfully validated its Napasol Pasteurization unit for Almonds. With the Almond Board of California Technical Expert Review Panel (TERP) approving their facility, they can offer pasteurization toll services to the Almond industry. Napasol North America of Pasadena, CA, has supplied the validated pasteurization line that Grower Direct is currently running with Walnuts.

The Napasol pasteurizer has been consistently and reliably producing high quality Ready-to-Eat walnut kernels that retain all the raw characteristics of the nut with a >5log pathogen reduction process assuring product safety. Grower Direct customers have been very happy with the results of the Pasteurized walnuts. The general consensus is that the treatment improves the overall quality of the walnut by reducing the walnut's natural acidity and adding a crunchy bite without negative effects on the shelf life.

The Napasol process uniquely allows pasteurizing at low temperatures by working in a partial vacuum with saturated steam. Lucio Salazar CEO/COO of Grower Direct Nuts says “TERP approval for our Napasol pasteurization line for almonds is a big deal allowing to expand applications and develop toll services to Almond growers in California”. The batch process can produce over 10’000lbs of pasteurized almonds per hour with documented traceability of each load. The low temperature process preserves the raw characteristic of the almonds as the steam does not wet the product and no drying step is needed.

The Food Safety Modernization act’s (FSMA) Preventative Controls requires a Pasteurization step for which the Grower Direct Company has invested in the Napasol Pasteurization technology. Aaron Martella CEO/President of Grower Direct Nuts says “We decided on the Napasol unit because we liked the positive effects it had on both walnuts and almonds. Also, with the increase in demand for pasteurization, we needed an alternative to PPO (Propylene Oxide) that was more of a natural process”.

Unlike other processes where product is transported on conveyors, belts, or other mechanical means, the almonds in the Napasol process sit still in a bin which moves through the processing line. This eliminates mechanical product damage thus reducing dust and breakage. The product in the bin is never in contact with the equipment allowing continuous use of the equipment without down time for cleaning. When needed the bins can be cleaned offline while the line is running. At product changeover surfaces and floors can be easily cleaned.

Grower Direct Nut Company Inc. is a full service walnut processing facility that primarily focuses on shelled walnuts. The family business was founded in 2004. In addition, the Martella family serves many local growers with a commercial harvesting business and is one of the largest walnut hullers/dehydrators in California. Obtaining TERP approval and adding the Napasol pasteurization unit allows them to offer services for walnuts, almonds and potentially other nuts.

Napasol North America of Pasadena, CA, provides pasteurization equipment for nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and other low moisture foods. While Napasol equipment is validated for the full range of nuts in locations around the world, this is the first plant in the US to get TERP approval for Almond Pasteurization. This major step will open the considerable and growing Almond pasteurization market to the Napasol technology.

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Aaron Martella

Dr. Cameon Ivarsson
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