International Specialty Supply officials unveiled a new sprout seed treatment process Tuesday that will eliminate the majority of pathogens on their products.

President and CEO Marino Papazoglou said sprouts are a super food, but they must be throughly cleaned.

“When somebody normally sanitizes the (sprout) seeds, they get rid of 99.9 percent of pathogens,” Papazoglou  said. “So that means there are some pathogens left over in the seed that may make some consumers sick. But now our seeds are sanitized to 99.999 percent. So there are practically no pathogens left in our seeds.”

Silas Stoddart, marketing manager, said the new treatment does not use bleach.

“The new seed-treatment process, which uses technology that was designed in Canada, uses a solution that’s been labeled as a neo-pure,” Stoddart said. “That solution will bring a four-to-six-log reduction of pathogens on the seed.”

Bleach is typically used in the sanitation process of the seeds, but not with the new process.

“It’s organic, it’s clean (and) the bleach is highly corrosive on equipment, so it’s a really exciting step.”

ISS exceeds the Federal Drug Administration safety requirements with the new cleaning technology.

“That means we have the safest seed in the world, which means we have the safest sprouts in the world available to consumers,” said Papazoglou. “And all of that is happening in Cookeville, so it’s very exciting.”

Officials said that ISS is currently the only company in the United States with this technology, and have a five-year exclusive before other companies are allowed to replicate it.

“ISS evolved to producing sprouts and using equipment to grow sprouts. And here today, we buy seeds from all over the world and bring to Cookeville,” Papazoglou said. “Then those seeds are sanitized. And we either use it internally to grow our own fresh sprouts or we sell it world-wide.”