Is There Engine Fuel on Your Almonds?

Engine fuel on almonds? Is this really a thing? Find out all of the details about PPO and almonds and about where to get non PPO almonds so you can be a more educated consumer.

Gassed almonds? Did you know that engine fuel is on most almonds sold in the US? I heard that but didn't believe it at first. Then I did research and found out that it's true. Here's why there might be engine fuel on your almond and what you can do about it.

Before we get to the engine fuel and almonds issue, did you know that the "raw almonds" in the grocery store, health food store, or at Costco, are most certainly not raw almonds at all?

And did you know that they are most likely coated with a fuel additive.  Jet engine fuel additive, to be specific.  As in for racing cars and motorcycles.

I know.  I couldn't believe it either.

Seriously - we've been eating gassed almonds.

Sort of.

I first heard about this situation about 3 years ago when visiting another whole foods friend in a Chicago suburb.

My friend told me something about a chemical called PPO being sprayed on almonds.  Like many new scary-sounding bits of natural information (like heavy metals, mercury in fish, personal care products in water), I thought, "Oh yeah, sure."  Then I asked her to show me proof.  Just in case she was right, you know :-).

Well, she produced a copy of an article outlining the problem.  I got home, did my research, and found out that she was right.

Yes, Virginia, you just might be eating Gassed Almonds.

Why is There Engine Fuel on Almonds?

The history of this situation is this: In 2001 and 2004 there were two outbreaks of salmonella poisoning that were traced back to almonds.  33 people became ill, but thankfully no one died.

As a result, tons of almonds were recalled.

The Almond Board of California (ABC) started pasteurization of all almonds as a result and asked the USDA to mandate it.

As a result, all almonds in the US are now pasteurized either by:

  • steam
  • freezing (this is rare) or
  • PPO (propylene oxide).  According to Local Harvest, PPO is "a chemical so nasty that it was banned by both the National Hot Rod and American Motorcycle Racing Associations, where it had been used as a fuel before being deemed too dangerous."

I called Costco and they verified that their almonds are sprayed with PPO.  A Midwest natural foods supplier, Country Life Natural Foods, said that typically their almonds are steam pasteurized, but it is best to inquire whenever ordering from them (I have since heard from a reader that Country Life's conventional almonds are treated with PPO :-(.)

By the way, I am not a total raw foodie, but keeping your nuts raw gives them added nutritional value.

You can read more about raw foods and how to make nuts and seeds more digestible in my post on How and Why to Soak Nuts and Seeds.

How to Stop Buying Gassed Almonds / Where to buy Non PPO Almonds

Following are some options for buying non PPO almonds.

1.  You can purchase "sproutable" pasteurized almonds.  I haven't done enough research into this to know if they are really more nutritionally beneficial than steamed almonds.  I have seen these in our local health food store and they are really pricey (about $11 per pound).

2.  Purchase imported almonds from Spain.  My most recent internet search for these yielded shocking prices of about $13.99 per pound

3.  Find a raw almond buying group that buys almonds direct from almond farmers.  There's a little loophole in the pasteurization law that makes it an option to get truly raw almonds as long as you buy them directly from a farmer.  I had one of these out of my home and we bought loads of almonds every fall.  Not sure if I will keep going it as it was a boatload of work this last year. 

4.  Become friends with an almond farmer and purchase almonds directly from the farm.

5.  Grow your own almonds (not an option here in Michigan :-).)

6.  Contact the Almond Board to ask if they will consider halting the spraying of almonds.

7.  At the very least, if this is of concern to you, contact your current almonds supplier to make sure that they aren't spraying PPO on your almonds.

8.  Here's a link to some almonds off of Amazon that is not pasteurized with PPO.

Where do you buy your almonds?

Source: Local Harvest

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  1. Hi, I just read your article, very good information. I’ve always eaten healthy, but recently had a health scare that prompted me to look closer at the things I’ve been eating. I was buying almonds from Costco and other local health food Co-Ops but found they weren’t truly raw and some used PPO.

    After a lot of searching I found a company in Chico CA that sells truly raw organic unpasteurized almonds. To be sure, I called the company and spoke with the owner.

    He informed me that they are allowed to sell direct to the consumer as long as it’s less than 100 lbs. per order.

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to share their info. Bremner Farms Roadside Stand. This is thier website: and they just informed me they have a new Facebook page that you can use to ask questions.

    Hope this helps…

  2. From the Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

    According to the website, PPO not used in Canada, but used in the US for 50 years in agriculture (dried fruit, nuts and spices).

    Concerning: "residues of this fumigant unless adequate ventilation/aeration of the treated commodity is provided". However, the Agency found no residue in any of the samples they tested.

    "One hundred samples of dried spices and herbs, dried fruit products, cocoa powder, and nuts (of both domestic and imported origin) were analyzed for PPO in 2009-2010. Additionally, nine hundred and sixty-four samples of dried spices and herbs, dried fruit products, cocoa and chocolate products/powders, and nuts (of both domestic and imported origin) were analyzed for PPO in 2010-2011. Propylene oxide was not detected in any sample tested. The overall compliance with the MRL for almonds or the GMRL (as applicable) was 100%."

  3. I'm not clear if you are also saying that almonds labeled "Organic" are also sprayed with PPO? I hope not!!

  4. When I went to the link you recommended for "unpasteurized" almonds,it says that they are still pasteurized?

    1. Hi there. I just clarified the post - thanks. They are steam pasteurized but do not have PPO on them.

  5. No need to worry. Ppo is not on your almonds anymore, it evaporated. Almonds are fumigated with ppo which means its in gas form, and since ppo is volatile( its boiling point is relatively low), any liquids that happened to condense will quickly turn to gas. Ppo is also deadly if ingested at the right amount, so if there was ppo on almonds, people would be getting sick and dying. You can look this stuff up on pubchem or an msds sheet. If you dont understand chem very well just ask a friend who understands chem

    1. Well, people are getting sick and dying....I assume that you mean that they would be able to trace it to PPO, correct? I don't think it's accurate that people would be getting sick and dying if there was PPO on almonds but I do think it could be of course a factor of filling up our toxic buckets more than they already were. Do you see how your argument about getting sick and dying isn't logical in this sense?

      As for the PPO not being on the almonds any longer - can you give me data regarding that? If that is the case, why does this article state the amt of PPO that remains on the almonds? Is it not correct?

      Interested in your thoughts on what I have written - thanks in advance.

      1. Im not sure why that article you posted claims that there is still ppo on almonds, but the 1 reference that it does have for the epa is not a working link, which invalidates the article.
        I was simply using my basic knowledge of chemistry to explain to you how the process works. After much searching i actually did find an article from Canada (hoorah, for our neighbor up north) that did a study on ppo on foods, from reading the summary, it said no ppo was found. I sent a request for the full report.... so yeah you of course are welcome to download it too and read it, or i can let you know what it says once i get it.
        (link deleted by blog owner since it doesn't work any longer)

        1. Oddly enough that link does not work that i posted, although it is correct, if you do a google search for "2010-2011 propylene oxide in foods canada", it will be the first link

        2. Thanks. I am happy to see it or have you check back in. I guess it would depend on their levels of detection as well. Pesticide-free, for example, depends on looking at a certain amt of pesticides. Same for gluten-free and any other "free" designations.

    1. Sorry no updates. I think someone mentioned something in the comments about a store not having sprayed almonds any longer though.

  6. I'm just here to shed some light on the concern of ppo use . I'm an almond farmer and I own an almond processing facility . We put the boxes of almonds in gas chambers that use ppo to kill any spiders bugs or disease on the almonds themselves or any packaging used to transport or contain them . My farm had a salmonella outbreak in the early 2000s and some people got sick ,after that we started using ppo as a pasteurization method .

    1. Hello Justin, I read that the issue was w/ dirty machinery. Do you know anything about that? I found documents highlighting that.

  7. Do you have a contact email address? I would love to repost this on my blog with your permission and link abck to you and your instagram.

    1. Hi Alexia. I am sorry but I don't want people to repost things to their blog as Google will penalize either you or me and it is copyrighted. So please do not do that. Thank you.

    1. Working on it - thanks! They must have changed their affiliate system and didn't notify. Thanks again!

  8. FYI: I called Costco today to find out their Almond Butter only uses steam treatment, which is great, and that they are working toward steaming all their raw and roasted almonds. Currently they will check your almond purchase and let you know if it's from a lot that was steamed or treated with PPO.

    1. Hi there. They are not truly raw - they have to heat them to destroy a toxin. I haven't heard of anything being put on them. Thanks!

  9. Hi, your article came up in a google search. I was trying to find out more info on I just made a huge purchase and though thoroughly satisfied with everything, i tried my raw almonds today and my 4 yr old and I both almost threw up. Are you SURE they are not sprayed with PPO? All I can say was it tasted like a disgusting mix of bourbon and chemicals. Ive been eating raw nuts for years and have never tasted this. I plan to call the company tomorrow but just curious if you knew or anyone else had this problem. Thanks!

  10. My research found Aldi almonds to be sprayed with PPO. Trader Joe's said their's are steamed, so that's where I buy mine.

      1. Steaming also concerns me, based on an article called "Pasteurizing Almonds: Good or Bad?" I read on "Natural Family Today" site stating: "Steam processing is the method used for pasteurizing organic almonds and they are heated to a temperature of 200 degrees with steam. Not only are the enzymes and vitamins destroyed but so are the bonds of the fats and the fat then oxidizes and becomes a source of free radicals." I'm thinking the only truly healthy almonds must be organic ones with no pasturization.

  11. This probably means that there is PPO residue on all the commercial almond milk, almond flour and almond butter products too! Where does it end? Thank you Adrienne for exposing these toxic practices!

    I'm wondering if Organic Certification bars the use of almonds with PPO pasteurization? Have you checked into that? It seems like I read something recently that said organic almond products could only use almonds that were steam pasteurized, but it's possible I dreamt this up as a product of wishful thinking. My memory is not always reliable - a byproduct of food toxins I'm sure : (

    1. Apparently they can't have PPO on organic almonds. I am likely going to have to look for a new supplier for my readers. Not hearing back from these folks now :(.

      1. Thanks for the response. That's a VERY helpful detail to be updated/added to your article so your readers know they can avoid PPO by buying organic almond products. They might miss this info if they don't read comments.

        It would also be helpful if you dated your articles. I'd like to know when something is older because I often read older articles on blog sites. I only know they are older because of the dates of some of the comments.

        Thanks again for all the valuable info you provide!

        1. You are welcome. I had dates before, but folks would email stating "I know this is you still feel the same way" so it's a problem either way that I do it. Not sure what to do in the future but I will take your comment into consideration. Thanks!

          1. Adrienne, I would love it if the articles were dated. I was wondering when it was written as I was reading the original article about almonds. Thanks for allowing my input.

            1. Hi there. The dates are in the comments - I'm torn about which way to go w/ the dates. When I put them there people would comment asking me if I still stood by the information b/c the date is old, and now I get this kind of comment so I'm confused about the best way to go - thanks!

  12. I was on Just Almonds website 3 days ago to place an order. When I went to checkout, I wasn't given the reduced price for the volume I ordered. I emailed the company through their Contact Us link. Later in the day, I called them on the phone and left a message. I did not receive a reply, so I emailed them again yesterday. To date, I have not heard back from anyone. Has anyone else had an issue with their customer service?

    Do you know of another company that sells almonds without jet fuel?

    1. I see my previous comment is still awaiting moderation. However, I am providing an update. I emailed the company again this morning and called again this afternoon because they still have not replied to my previous emails or my previous voice mail. As of this time, I still have not received a reply. The issue I am having is when I add items to my cart, I am not getting the discounted rate for buying more than 5 lbs. I would go elsewhere to purchase almonds, but there prices are better than other websites that sell non PPO almonds. Adrienne, have you ever had an issue with them?

      1. Hi Laurie, I am so sorry I haven't responded to you yet. I have been swamped w/ internet and phone problems and a bunch of family things. I emailed Just Almonds and didn't hear back. I just called them as well. I am not happy. Let's keep in touch about this. I obviously can't have this kind of customer service problems w/ no accountability. I am OK if there are mistakes but not with no answers.


        1. Hi Adrienne,

          I just finished reading your article on the problems with buying almonds from Costco and other large retailers. I wanted to write and introduce ourselves. We are a family owned almond grower in Bakersfield California, GF Orchards, and provide fresh Almonds straight from our ranch. Funny you talked about internet problems, we too are having problems, but hope to have them resolved this week. The website will be back up and running. I would love to provide you and any of your followers with our prepackaged almonds in any quantity you would like. We just finished harvesting the non-pariel variety and they will be ready for delivery in the next week or so. I look forward to hearing from you and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to write.

    2. Hi there. I don't know what to do about this. I have emailed and called. I will give them a little more time, but I am looking for another source.

    3. Hi Laurie,

      I am writing to you after reading your post to Adrienne regarding the trouble having trying to get almond from Justalmonds. We have a family owned almond orchard in Bakersfield California and provide packaged raw almonds to the public. We just finished the harvesting and they will be ready in the next week or so. We are having trouble with our websit --, but hope to have that resolved in the next week as well.
      I would love to answer any questions or fill your request for almonds if you would like. Please email me at

    4. Hi Laurie. I finally heard back from them. My main contact was apparently on vacation. I am still waiting to find out why no one responded to my calls, but here is her reply about your checkout problem:

      " She needs to follow all the way thru with he order and the computer will automatically put in the discounted price. She also has to put in your code to receive that discount. Once the shipping and billing info had been entered. The correct price should come up."

      I hope that helps!

      1. Thanks for the info Adrienne. I still haven't heard back from anyone since my initial contact on August 3. That is just not acceptable. Maybe something will come about with GF Orchards (per the above post), because I don't think I want to give my money to Just Almonds due to the poor customer service.

        1. I'm so sorry. I emailed them again. I am looking around - one other source I found is very expensive. Hoping we get a good solution.

          1. I finally heard back from Just Almonds. It was from a Diana who said she was sorry but "we were out of the office for two weeks." I am not sure how large this company is, but it should state on their website and voice mail when calling that they are closed for the specified period of time.

            In the meantime, I have ordered two separate times from They were phenomenal. They have organic almonds which have no PPO. Both orders were shipped the same day I ordered and I received within 2 days. Shipping was very reasonable.

            1. Hi Laurie, thanks. I told them that we were very upset. They told you that "they" were out of the office for two weeks and not just one person?

              How did you feel about the cost of the Their organic almonds are pricey but I am willing to consider offering them to my readers. What did you think about the pricing?

              Thanks so much.

              1. Yes, she specifically said "we" were out of the office.

       are pricey; however, their shipping was very reasonable and super speedy. I am leaning toward purchasing all my almonds from them because of their service. It seems that any company I contacted says you have to purchase organic almonds to keep from getting ones processed with PPO. I am not sure how/where Just Almonds purchases their "nonorganic" almonds from without the grower using this process.

                1. Hi Laurie. I am working on this. I have added to my post. Just Almonds says their almonds are processed with steam, which is allowed as a processing option in the US. They just aren't allowed to be unpasteurized. Let's keep in touch about this.

                  1. Thanks for the update Adrienne and for letting me know I can link to from your website the next time I order.

  13. Wow. This is crazy information... thank you for posting and doing this research. Ever since I realized something is wrong with the food we eat, the products we use in our homes and on our bodies, etc., it's been like a never ending struggle to purge my life of chemicals and habits detrimental to my health. What are your thoughts on Geoengineering and Chemtrails?

    Keep spreading the light ~