Bundaberg’s Pacific Gold Macadamia 2019 Crop is Food Safety Guaranteed with Napasol Pasteurizer

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 10th April 2019

The Bundaberg Pacific Gold Macadamia facility is processing the incoming 2019 harvest through their newly commissioned Napasol Pasteurization line. Ensuring food safety is essential for consumer protection and the Napasol pasteurization process is particularly effective and well suited for the delicate flavour, light colour, and very low moisture of raw macadamia nuts.


PACIFIC GOLD MACADAMIAS Pty. Ltd. (PGM) of Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia, is treating all its macadamias through its newly commissioned Napasol Pasteurization line. The Investment was made to meet the food safety requirements of its customers and insure that the entire volume processed in the new facility meets the 5-log pathogen reduction performance the market expects. The delicate flavour, light colour, and very low moisture of raw macadamia nuts is preserved in the dry saturated steam process of Napasol.

The Napasol process uniquely allows pasteurizing effectively with saturated steam at low temperatures in a partial vacuum. The low pasteurization temperature and dry saturated steam preserves the raw qualities of the nut without needing a drying step. Regarding the choice of the Napasol technology Craig Brice, General Manager of PGM, says “it’s one of the hardest nuts to pasteurize because of its low moisture and Napasol is the only technology that has been proven successful for macadamias.”

Pacific Gold Macadamia has grown rapidly into its new Bundaberg facility built to handle 15’000 tons annually. Starting in 2012 with 4’500 tons of inshell macadamias it reached 11’500 tons in 2018. The facility is perfectly laid out to handle those volumes and separates the reception, drying, cracking, and sorting of the raw kernels from the clean room side which the products can only enter once they have been processed through the Napasol pasteurizer. There the raw, macadamias are packed in bulk nitrogen flushed vacuum sealed laminated foil bags or they are roasted and salted for retail sales. Both raw area and post pasteurization packaging and processing area are each fully equipped with their own laboratory.

The Bundaberg region is the largest macadamia growing area in Australia and new plantations are fueling this growth. PGM is the second largest processor of macadamias in Australia after the Macadamia Processing Company (MPC) based at Alphadale in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, another very large growing area. Both MPC and PGM market their product thought Macadamia Marketing International (MMI). The weight of MMI in the market is substantial representing almost 50% of the Australian and 17% of the worldwide macadamia volumes.

Both PGM and MPC are equipped with Napasol lines supplying the market with safe macadamias pasteurized at the 5-log reduction level in pathogens required for tree nuts. The Napasol line is capable of pasteurizing from the largest to the smallest size kernels, as well as chips and meal without color or flavor change, preserving all the raw qualities of the nuts without adding any moisture. Unlike other processes where product is mechanically moved through the line, the nuts in the Napasol process sit still in a bin which is moved through the preheating, pasteurization and cooling steps. There is no breakage and dust, and the product is never in contact with the equipment, only with the bin.


Pacific Gold Macadamia Pty. Ltd., Bundaberg, is a BRC, HACCP, and WQA accredited facility that employs up to 180 staff at peak season. The harvest stretches from April to November and 50 growers supply the bulk of the macadamias processed in the Bundaberg facility. Macadamia orchards are located in Australia’s East coast in some of the most beautiful rainforest and subtropical environment. This is the area where macadamias, which are native to Australia, were first discovered. Macadamia production is also growing rapidly in South Africa, China and other areas of the world. Craig emphasizes that the Napasol investment was made “to secure PGM’s future in the industry and make sure the products we produce are safe.”

Napasol AG, Zug, Switzerland, sells its Pasteurization equipment worldwide for nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and other low moisture foods. In the tree nut industry, it has validated processing lines with customers pasteurizing Macadamias, Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Brazil nuts, and Pine nuts to the 5-log pathogen reduction standard widely required by retailers and industry. Dr. Cameon Ivarsson, COO of Napasol says “The need to pasteurize is obvious and with this PGM equipment Napasol is the market leader in pasteurization equipment for Macadamias.”