RF Pasteurization for nuts and dried fruit – The holy grail for food safety?

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    Consumers are more and more sensitive about inputs and post-harvest treatment of crops. Today even the slightest residues, pests and damages can be found with the improvement of various detection techniques. One of the most important steps in post-harvest treatment is pasteurization – failure of proper pasteurization can lead to total losses. Pasteurization requirements were imposed by California in 2007 after two outbreaks of salmonella in 2001 and 2004 were linked to unpasteurized almonds. There are several pasteurization treatment processes that reduce the level of potential contamination in almonds without diminishing the product’s quality, nutritional value or sensory qualities (taste and crunch). Currently there are about four suppliers of RF pasteurization technology: Macrowave, Biocidics, PSC and Stalam. The Sacramento-based company RF Biocidics offers a solution that could become a game changer. The Almond Board of California Technical Expert Review Panel (TERP) has certified RF Biocidics’ APEX 85 chemical-free, pasteurization system in 2016. The system has been installed at the Sran Family Orchards in Kerman, CA. near Fresno.
    I talked to Vincent Chun, board member of RF Biocidics, and Vice President of Allied Minds about the impact that the technology can have on the market. Read the full story in our print edition.

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