Barouei Publishes on Microbial Safety of Pistachios

Research Scientist Javad Barouei of the CARC Food Systems research group was a member of a team of scientists from University of California at Davis, University of Rutgers and University of Florida who published an article on microbial safety of pistachios in this month’s Food Microbiology Journal (Volume 67, Pages 85 – 96). In their work, the risk of getting salmonellosis (a microbial gastroenteritis caused by food-borne pathogen Salmonella) from consumption of pistachios produced and consumed in the U.S. was assessed using a mathematical method called the Monte Carlo stochastic quantitative microbial risk assessment model. The model simulated pistachio processing and handling from a pistachio hulling/drying facility to consumer consumption. This work reports that applying a 4-log (10,000 times) reduction treatment e.g., by using hot air or water, hot oil or other reduction methods to pistachios in processing facilities is effective in maintaining the risk of salmonellosis from consumption of pistachios below one illness per year in the United States, although significant increases in contamination, or small increases in proportion of untreated nuts, would result in exceeding this threshold.


Deland Myers, Ph.D.
Research Scientist Leader (Food Systems Research)
(936) 261-5082