World-first for macadamia nut treatment

A macadamia processing plant near Lismore has cracked a world-first for nut treatment.

The pasteurisation machine at the Alphadale company MPC reduces levels of micro-organisms through non-chemical methods.

"The pasteuriser treats food in a way that reduces the levels of potentially pathogenic micro-organisms that may be present," general manager of MPC, Stephen Lee, said.

"The pasteuriser that we are using uses non-chemical treatment, so it is only using a combination of heat, steam and atmospheric pressure on the macadamia kernel," he said.

It took three years of researching equipment to settle on the new technology that cost $1.7 million.

Mr Lee said the system would reduce the need for product recalls over health concerns such as salmonella.

"We're the first processor in the world that has installed a machine that is capable of achieving a 5-log reduction of salmonella on macadamia kernel," Mr Lee said.

The pasteuriser treats food in a way that reduces the levels of potentially pathogenic micro-organisms that may be present. 

"Obviously the impact of a product recall is not just the costs associated with the recall, but it's the damage to brand reputation," he said.

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