- Glanbia Nutritionals launched a line of heat-treated sprouted seeds to ensure safety from foodborne pathogens, according to a company statement.
- There are no regulations to prevent bacterial growth or completely eliminate pathogens in sprouted grains now. In the statement, Glanbia said it works to select the right seeds, tests seed purity, controls air and water used in seed germination, and uses a low-heat drying process.
- Glanbia's two sprouted products — ChoiceGrad Brown Sprouted MP and ChoiceGrad Golden Sprouted MP — come from flaxseed.
After several high-profile recalls, consumers and manufacturers are working to reduce contaminants in all sorts of food ingredients. However, sprouted products have their own risks for contamination. The warm and humid conditions needed to make seeds sprout create an ideal environment for salmonella, listeria and E. coli.
Food safety experts have called sprouts the most risky food available at grocery stores. And risks are not limited to bean or alfalfa sprouts. In 2014, organic sprouted chia powder infected 31 people in 16 states with salmonella.
Sprouts have presented a unique conundrum for food safety, since using heat to kill bacteria also tends to damage the seed itself. The European Food Safety Authority has advocated taking extreme care with seeds that are being sprouted, keeping them away from contaminants. Glanbia's approach seems to combine both approaches, heat-treating and carefully sprouting the seeds. If this works, maybe successfully using heat to eliminate contaminants in ingredients like flour isn't far off.