What does it mean when a raw almond is steam pasteurized?

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SKK
SKK August 20, 2011

There was a law passed by USDA that almonds have to be pasturized, which means being treated with a fumigant or high-temperature heat. What I am not clear about if this only applies to California almonds. The argument is that it punishes small growers and also takes the health benefits away from almonds.

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a Whole Foods Market Customer

The new protocols require all raw almonds sold in North America to be pasteurized, thereby killing off any wayward bacteria. How? By quick-steaming the nuts, or spraying them with propylene oxide (PPO), a chemical so nasty that it was banned by both the National Hot Rod and American Motorcycle Racing Associations, where it had been used as a fuel before being deemed too dangerous. PPO is also a carcinogen. At Whole Foods Market we only sell the steam pasteurized nut organic as well as conventional.

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