Rejuvenative Foods is now offering two distinctly different fresh raw organic almond butters, our original raw organic almond butter, as well as our wild raw organic almond butter:
As a result of U.S. federal law, California raw almonds must be treated to a heat process to remove potential for Salmonella growth. (This is a requirement of ALL almonds sold in the U.S. after September 1, 2007.) The required treatment is not the same as pasteurization, since that requires a higher level of processing and can destroy the vital nutrients in the almond. This process is designed as a surface treatment. The almonds are placed in a vacuum sealed chamber where minimal amounts of heat and steam (155° F) are introduced into the environment while simultaneously being sucked out.
Lab results have shown a marked reduction in bacteria plate count, as well as in yeast and mold levels after the process. In blind taste tests with some of the owners/growers, no differences could be identified. The Almond Board of California had this to say about the process: “The short bursts of steam do not impact the nutritional integrity of the almond. These treatments do not cook proteins or destroy vitamins and minerals. The nutritional and sensory characteristics of the almonds remain unchanged when treated with steam.”
Big Tree Almonds, our main supplier, conducted a series of in-house experiments with their own almonds, after the almonds were subjected to the heat process. They were able to successfully sprout the almonds, leading them to believe the process is indeed a surface treatment, leaving the rest of the almond alive and well. Therefore, this particular company has concluded that this new legislation is a step up in quality for raw organic almond consumers, and they feel comfortable saying that these almonds can still be considered raw.
In order to create an almond butter with almonds that have not been subjected to any heat process, we needed to use imported almonds. This is why we chose to create our wild raw almond butter, made with the imported wild-harvested, certified organic almonds from Uzbekistan. Rejuvenative Foods founder, Evan Richards, chose to use the wild almonds from Uzbekistan because he thoroughly enjoyed their unique, piquant flavor and described them as “extra delicious and vibrant.” After speaking with other consumers, the general response is an appreciation of the distinct flavor of the wild almonds, often compared to the flavor of almond extract or amaretto. Evan’s experience, along with the feedback from consumers, indicates that there is no need to be concerned about bitterness in these almonds.
We appreciate customer feedback and encourage you to give us your opinions regarding the taste of this new wild almond butter, as well as your thoughts and feelings about us offering an almond butter that is completely raw and untreated.
Pictures of Uzbekistan wild almond trees: