Since the new law requiring pasteurization of almonds has taken effect, there has been much complaint and controversy among growers and consumers alike. Marian Farms, a biodynamic farm in California and long time friend of Spiritual Food for the New Millennium as a provider of grapes and raisins for over 10 years, began harvesting from their new almond orchard right at the time this law came into effect in the summer of 2007. They had the almonds but could not sell them to anyone off of the farm without pasteurization. And we couldn’t go to California to buy them in person!
However, a process has been found that treats the almonds with some heat but it is not full pasteurization as they will sprout, yet this process is in compliance with the new law. The treatment is described here.
The almonds are put on a conveyer belt and treated with high-pressure steam for 3 (three) seconds. Then they go through a dehydrator at 100 degrees. 118 degrees is the temperature that kills the life force in food, and being well below that is why the almonds will still sprout. They come out of the dehydrator and are left to dry for 2 days. Then put into a cool box to be sure they are cooled sufficiently before packaging.
The farm believes and tells us this system is the most acceptable way available now of treating the almonds, without completely killing the life force in them, and is still in compliance with the new law.
In contrast, most almonds now are pasteurized at 175 degrees for 3 hours, packed and stored. Unfortunately, it is being found that they sometimes are going moldy, which could be due to inadequate cooling. Also, as we know with milk, a pasteurized product turns bad long before the raw.