almondsSources for Unpasteurized and Unprocessed Almonds tells us that “At the present time almonds and hazelnuts are the only nuts required to be pasteurized. Cashews, macadamias, pecan, pistachios and walnuts at present are not required to be pasteurized. Be Warned: Some organic nut processors are pasteurizing organic nuts and labeling them as raw even without the law requiring it.

According to – It is extremely important to purchase organic nuts and seeds. And I will add that you need to know the source of the almonds. This country does import almonds from China but would you eat them?

The processing of cashews includes the use of heat to remove the meat from the shell. According to, their cashews are processed using hot air to gently loosen the shells of cashews so the meat comes out whole rather than in pieces. They say little to no heat actually reaches the meat.

There is a solution to being able to purchase raw almonds. Buy imported nuts. Imported almonds are not required to be pasteurized. Imported organic nuts might be more expensive but that is the best way to be assured of quality – and that you are getting what you want. According to, their unpasteurized almonds are truly raw and alive and are never treated by radiation, ultra high heat, steam or chemically sterilized as required for all domestically grown almonds, even those labelled as “raw.” Terrasoul’s almonds are from Spain. They also use a low-heat harvesting process to remove cashews from the shells. Their cashews are imported from Vietnam.

I spoke with Davy C. Pruzansky, owner of Living Nutz. He assured me that there is not any law requiring pasteurization of imported almonds, and that his company definitely buys truly raw almonds.

I also communicated with Tom LaMonte at Northwest Wild Foods. I asked him the question – do almonds and hazelnuts have to be pasteurized before they are marketable. He affirmed that, depending upon country of origin, imported almonds do not have to be pasteurized. He did not elaborate on his comment “depending upon country of origin.” In my research I have not come across any countries that have to pasteurize their almonds.

Rejuvenative Foods states on their web site that in order to create an almond butter with almonds that have not been subjected to any heat process, they needed to use imported almonds. So they chose to use imported wild-harvested, certified organic almonds from Uzbekistan.

Article by Jeanine Butler