Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
Jan 12, 2014 01:19 PM

Are all Nutmeats sterilized in CA?

I am aware that all almonds in CA except, small batches from local farmers, and almonds from other countries, are sterilized, either with heat or by using chemicals. Someone mentioned they thought ALL nutmeats in CA were now not truly raw but sterilized. Is this true? My question is are all nutmeats sterilized in CA?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Only almonds have to be sterilized. Nuts are likely to be heated as part of removing the shells and preparing for sale, but not pasteurized. Almonds are fundamentally different, because they are actually not nuts, but the seed of the almond tree. Think of the stone in a plum; that's what an almond is the equivalent of.

    4 Replies
    1. re: RdBchAndy

      walnuts, pecans and pistachios are also not nuts.

      1. re: honkman

        Hi Honkman,

        What are "nuts" then. If almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pistachios are not nuts then what are they and why?

        1. re: chezron

          Food speak they are nuts, from a scientist's/botanist's point of view they are not nuts

          It may be a fruit, seed or nut to a scientist (or to Sheldon) but a nut to others

          1. re: chezron

            Almonds, walnuts and the like are "drupes." The shell which contains the seed is found inside the fruit. A hazelnut is an example of a true nut, because the hard shell is on the outside.

      2. That's one of the reasons to buy organic almonds as they are not sterilized chemically with propylene oxide which is a known carcinogen. Almonds treated with propylene oxide are even banned from exports to Europe

          1. Here's a link to the EPA fact sheet on propylene oxide:


            1. Well that's good to know. I buy organic almonds from Italy at Jimbo's. Nice to know when it says "raw" organic cashews, walnuts, and pecans, they probably are. I will never buy sterilized, heat-or chemically- treated almonds!