Paramount Farms, the world’s largest vertically integrated supplier of pistachios and almonds, has opened its new $24 million, 22,800 square-foot almond manufacturing plant in Lost Hills, Calif.

The new plant features a build-to-order design, enabling a larger amount of product to be produced and shipped out quickly. This capability eliminates the need for storing product that is not fully processed, as orders are produced, packed, and moved to cold storage in one seamless flow. The new plant eliminates the use of forklifts or bins, lowering the likelihood of foreign matter contamination.

“As the largest grower and supplier of almonds in the world, our priority is to deliver to our customer the best quality product, safely and efficiently,” said Brian Ezell, managing director, Paramount Farms, almond division. “We spent five years visiting high-tech food processing facilities owned by the largest food manufacturers around the world to implement their techniques for cleaner, faster processing capabilities, creating a new industry standard for manufacturing almonds.”

The almond manufacturing plant’s improved design minimizes contamination. The concrete structure is built without exposed beams, seams or sub-walls for durability and contaminant control while a HEPA air filtration system helps remove potential foreign airborne particles. Almonds are taken through processing four times, compared to once in most plants, to remove foreign materials and product defects from shipments. The product is transferred through the plant on tube conveyers to minimize product damage and contamination. All processing equipment is stainless-steel and fully automated for easy maintenance and clean-up.

“The investment in this new facility is representative of our confidence in the category as the demand for almonds as a premium ingredient continues to grow,” said Dominic Engels, vice president, global marketing, Paramount Farms.

The new facility processes blanched, sliced, slivered and diced almonds as well as almond meal for use in a variety of consumer products.

Paramount Farms is the world's largest vertically integrated supplier of pistachios and almonds with more than 70,000 acres of pistachio and almond orchards located in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Paramount Farms’ 30,000 acres of pistachio orchards are the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Paramount Farms is California’s largest almond grower, with more than 45,000 acres of permanent almond orchards.