Nut milks spoiling

#1

Hello All,
Jess here from Healthy Being Cafe & Juicery. We’ve in business since 2012 but just finding out about this forum! We produce our almond milk in house for smoothies/hot tonics as well as our line of bottled blended with spices/superfoods milks. The past two years (never saw this issue the first 3 years) we’ve been experiencing our nutmilks randomly spoiling on after the first day of production. Mostly we fresh date them at 4 days from production. These nutmilks will go bad on day 2 sometimes. Sometimes they get goopy and a strange consistency, sometimes they smell a little funky and sometimes they become slightly fizzy but look and smell fine. I’ve eliminated every variable I can think of and still randomly seeing 30 or so per month out of about 700 sold being returned by customers or we are catching prior to sell. Obviously this is a huge problem and I’ve been pulling my hair out. Has anyone else experienced this issue with almond milks?

Here are a few of the variables I’ve considered and controlled for…

  • our milks are either unsweetened or we use date syrup (investigated shelf stability and proper storage of syrup with vendor)
  • freshness of almonds (we received a few batches of almonds with mold from our vendor that wasn’t caught right away. I initially thought this solved our problem, but then even with inspected fresh batch without mold we found bad milks again this week)
  • temperature control - excellent cold refrigeration right after bottled and maintained
  • superfoods/spices/powders added (we’ve seen the problem across all flavors and blends so no trends here)
  • we blend our milks in vitamixes and then press in our juice press, with a clean fresh bag.
  • we always use fresh cold filtered water to make the milks
  • we only soak the almonds for 8-10 hours in the refrigerator and we rinse them well prior to using
  • we bottle in glass for bulk and for retail sales

Any ideas out there?

1 Like
#3

Seems very odd indeed. I would think that the almonds themselves must be bad, since the process you’re describing seems fine. Have you tried using a different almond source?

#4

Yes, it seems a little off, Typical issues with short shelf life with mylks would be, not washing the nuts enough after the refrigerated soaking period, not blending with cold water or liquid or possibly blending too long where it would heat up the mixture.
For it to have fizz, it would seem the product is left in a warm environment for some time. The product that is being returned, are they within a reasonable time in which they were produced? It might be product bought on its last day and not consumed until a few days after possibly bringing to seven plus days?
I would also recommend monitoring multiple bottles of the mylk every couple hours while in the cold hold or your refrigeration unit from different areas in the unit, Just to make sure there is plenty of air flow, if they are packed pretty tightly in the refrigeration unit, it could vary in temp further away from the fan. I would also sacrifice one of the bottles in the batch so I can get the temp using a probe thermometer.
Hope that helps in finding the issue.

#5

Thanks for the responses. We’re using Terrasoul for almonds…seems like they are a common source from other posts. We are examining them for molds as we receive them. We did find some molded and Terrasoul replaced the cases. We are now inspecting very carefully. But even when we think we’re using clean almonds, we’re still seeing the issue about once per week. I’ll take a deeper examination of your suggestions above.