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Bulk almonds: Where to buy?

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[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 2, 2007
154 posts
115 upvotes

Bulk almonds: Where to buy?

I'm looking to purchase raw almonds in bulk. I've heard that Costco has great deals on Kirkland almonds, but would prefer to avoid them since they are pasteurized with propylene oxide. Same goes for bulk barn almonds. Does anyone know where I can find good deals on organic almonds or steam-pasteurized almonds such as Planters or Wonderful?
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Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 13, 2002
2850 posts
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OP: A better thread title would have been: "Propylene oxide-free bulk almonds: where to buy?"
Any health food store should have certified organic almonds, but as I'm sure you're aware, they'll be expensive, so your best bet is to compare prices among them and watch for them to go on special. Whole Foods Market in Square One (8 locations in Canada [link]) would definitely have them, and I'd imagine if anyone was going to have steam-sterilized almonds in bulk, it might be them.

For the benefit of readers wondering what the OP is talking about: since September 2007, due to a couple of salmonella poisoning incidents involving raw almonds (one of them Canadian), it's been mandatory for all Californian-grown almonds destined to be sold in the USA, Canada and Mexico to be pasteurized. California grows 100% of the US's exported almonds, so for our purposes that means all US-grown almonds. If pasteurization is not achieved through normal pre-sale processing, as it would when they're blanched in boiling water, dry-roasted or oil roasted, 1 of 2 methods must be used: steam treating, or fumigation with propylene oxide* - unless the producer sells the almonds directly to end customers such as at a roadside stand or farmer's market (in California) and with a limit of 100lbs/customer per day. Steam processing is apparently far more expensive than chemical processing, so apparently most of Californian almonds are processed with chemical [Source], apparently at a cost of around 3-4 cents/lb.

*Propylene oxide is a chemical sterilant that's approved for food use by the USDA but classified as 'possibly' or 'reasonably anticipated to be' carcinogenic to humans [Source].

As there's no requirement for the method of pasteurization to be labelled, finding non-chemically treated almonds requires research - as the OP has already done. And as it's possible a processor may change their pasteurization methods over time, the best way to be sure you're getting non-chemically treated almonds is to always get certified organic almonds - they can't be 'certified organic' if they've been treated by propylene oxide. Another option --and likely a cheaper one-- is to look for European-grown almonds, typically from Italy or Spain - as they are unlikely to be pasteurized as it's not a requirement there and the process adds unwanted cost.

edit: if you're willing to risk buying them off Kijiji, supposedly organic Spanish almonds can be had for $8/lb.
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2007
4029 posts
597 upvotes
I used to buy them from an Indian supermarket in Mississauga. Major intersection is McLauglin and Mavis. I can't recall the name. When on sale, it's $2.99/lb. Regularly it's $3.99/lb. Either price would be cheaper than what I normally see at any grocery store I've visited. Definitely don't buy from bulk barn.
Newbie
Dec 11, 2009
56 posts
1 upvote
They are so expensive at bulk barn; thanks for posting
Jr. Member
Oct 30, 2012
176 posts
14 upvotes
You can buy excellent quality almonds from Golden Groceries in Brampton. I think they have branches in Markham too
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 2, 2007
154 posts
115 upvotes
eddymurphy wrote:
Aug 15th, 2013 4:12 pm
You can buy excellent quality almonds from Golden Groceries in Brampton. I think they have branches in Markham too
Do you know how much almonds sell for there? I may go check it out.
Jr. Member
Oct 30, 2012
176 posts
14 upvotes
I don't remember, may be 5.99/ pound.. it is a guess. Can be less. But they are good quality, you can buy in bulk or they have their own 1lb or 2lb packets which are good too.

Just remembered. You can buy Bulk almonds in Kabul Farms in Queen Street East, Brampton. The next shop to canada computers. the nuts and raisins are far better than many mega stores in the city IMO, make your own judgement as well. What I liked may not be liked by you.
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Dec 13, 2002
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BananaHunter wrote:
Aug 15th, 2013 7:52 am
I used to buy them from an Indian supermarket in Mississauga.
How did you know they're propylene oxide(PPO)-free?
eddymurphy wrote:
Aug 16th, 2013 11:31 pm
eddymurphy wrote:
Aug 15th, 2013 4:12 pm
You can buy excellent quality almonds from Golden Groceries in Brampton
.. they are good quality, you can buy in bulk or they have their own 1lb or 2lb packets which are good too.

Just remembered. You can buy Bulk almonds in Kabul Farms in Queen Street East, Brampton.
Same question as above, for both places.


I most often buy almonds at Costco but sometimes buy Amira branded almonds when on sale at No Frills or wherever, so being curious where their almonds came from and how they were pasteurized, I visited their website. Amira distributes a variety of almond products, and as well as the retail-packaged 1lb bags of 'natural' almonds like I've bought, they list 50lb bulk bags, likely sold to supermarkets for their bulk bins (which stores, I wonder?) and the food industry. A detailed page there on almond production says that their almonds come from California and implied that they are steam-pasteurized.

Wanting to confirm this, I emailed Amira, and they promptly replied:
Amira c/s, via email wrote:We buy our almonds from Paramount farms, California and they are steam pasteurized.
. And that's very interesting, because Paramount Farms:
- is the California (and the US)'s largest almond grower, with over 45,000 acres of permanent almond orchards
- is the owner of the 'Wonderful' brand (mentioned by the OP 'SmoothTofu' in the first post as producing steam-pasteurized almonds).
- was the grower that the 2004 salmonella outbreak was linked to (via their almonds sold at Costco [link])
- in 2004, shortly after the salmonella outbreak, began pasteurizing their almonds, with propylene oxide
- in 2008, installed a "2-part" pasteurization unit at their Lost Hills, CA plant. ("The first part uses steam to add moisture to the surface of the shelled almonds. The second part of the unit quickly heats the almond surface to kill pathogens") [Source]

So, as Paramount Farms can't distribute almonds to other wholesalers without first pasteurizing them, does that suggest that ALL almonds produced by Paramount Farms today are steam pasteurized? And, although it may in the past have been true that Costco's almonds were fumigated, it's possible they might not be now, if they're still using the same supplier that they did back in 2004.

I will write to them both, and report back what I find..
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 2, 2007
154 posts
115 upvotes
RenegadeX wrote:
Aug 17th, 2013 5:29 pm
How did you know they're propylene oxide(PPO)-free?

Same question as above, for both places.


I most often buy almonds at Costco but sometimes buy Amira branded almonds when on sale at No Frills or wherever, so being curious where their almonds came from and how they were pasteurized, I visited their website. Amira distributes a variety of almond products, and as well as the retail-packaged 1lb bags of 'natural' almonds like I've bought, they list 50lb bulk bags, likely sold to supermarkets for their bulk bins (which stores, I wonder?) and the food industry. A detailed page there on almond production says that their almonds come from California and implied that they are steam-pasteurized.

Wanting to confirm this, I emailed Amira, and they promptly replied:
. And that's very interesting, because Paramount Farms:
- is the California (and the US)'s largest almond grower, with over 45,000 acres of permanent almond orchards
- is the owner of the 'Wonderful' brand (mentioned by the OP 'SmoothTofu' in the first post as producing steam-pasteurized almonds).
- was the grower that the 2004 salmonella outbreak was linked to (via their almonds sold at Costco [link])
- in 2004, shortly after the salmonella outbreak, began pasteurizing their almonds, with propylene oxide
- in 2008, installed a "2-part" pasteurization unit at their Lost Hills, CA plant. ("The first part uses steam to add moisture to the surface of the shelled almonds. The second part of the unit quickly heats the almond surface to kill pathogens") [Source]

So, as Paramount Farms can't distribute almonds to other wholesalers without first pasteurizing them, does that suggest that ALL almonds produced by Paramount Farms today are steam pasteurized? And, although it may in the past have been true that Costco's almonds were fumigated, it's possible they might not be now, if they're still using the same supplier that they did back in 2004.

I will write to them both, and report back what I find..
Very nice research. Please let us know if you get any more information.
Newbie
Dec 30, 1969
1 posts
Vancouver, BC
Try here - super friendly :)

www.puravidanutrition.ca/nuts/
SmoothTofu wrote:
Aug 14th, 2013 5:41 pm
I'm looking to purchase raw almonds in bulk. I've heard that Costco has great deals on Kirkland almonds, but would prefer to avoid them since they are pasteurized with propylene oxide. Same goes for bulk barn almonds. Does anyone know where I can find good deals on organic almonds or steam-pasteurized almonds such as Planters or Wonderful?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 8, 2007
1655 posts
54 upvotes
Mississauga
My parents love the Roasted Nut Factory - 2399 Cawthra Rd, Mississauga, ON L5A 2W9. (905) 306-9197

Don't know if they are propylene oxide free, but I'm sure a quick phone call could answer that.
Sr. Member
Oct 24, 2006
648 posts
76 upvotes
Toronto
What you want is raw.. Try a distributor such as Grain Process - they may or may not sell to the public.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 9, 2012
9043 posts
995 upvotes
Toronto
Bulkville @ Sheppard centre. They seem to have everything and anything bulk...
Newbie
Mar 29, 2015
82 posts
15 upvotes
Westmount, QC
RenegadeX wrote:
Aug 17th, 2013 5:29 pm
How did you know they're propylene oxide(PPO)-free?

Same question as above, for both places.


I most often buy almonds at Costco but sometimes buy Amira branded almonds when on sale at No Frills or wherever, so being curious where their almonds came from and how they were pasteurized, I visited their website. Amira distributes a variety of almond products, and as well as the retail-packaged 1lb bags of 'natural' almonds like I've bought, they list 50lb bulk bags, likely sold to supermarkets for their bulk bins (which stores, I wonder?) and the food industry. A detailed page there on almond production says that their almonds come from California and implied that they are steam-pasteurized.

Wanting to confirm this, I emailed Amira, and they promptly replied:
. And that's very interesting, because Paramount Farms:
- is the California (and the US)'s largest almond grower, with over 45,000 acres of permanent almond orchards
- is the owner of the 'Wonderful' brand (mentioned by the OP 'SmoothTofu' in the first post as producing steam-pasteurized almonds).
- was the grower that the 2004 salmonella outbreak was linked to (via their almonds sold at Costco [link])
- in 2004, shortly after the salmonella outbreak, began pasteurizing their almonds, with propylene oxide
- in 2008, installed a "2-part" pasteurization unit at their Lost Hills, CA plant. ("The first part uses steam to add moisture to the surface of the shelled almonds. The second part of the unit quickly heats the almond surface to kill pathogens") [Source]

So, as Paramount Farms can't distribute almonds to other wholesalers without first pasteurizing them, does that suggest that ALL almonds produced by Paramount Farms today are steam pasteurized? And, although it may in the past have been true that Costco's almonds were fumigated, it's possible they might not be now, if they're still using the same supplier that they did back in 2004.

I will write to them both, and report back what I find..
Did you ever end up calling costco about all this ?
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