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FAQ: Top 10 Organic Questions Answered

Posted: February 26, 2007, from the March 2007 issue of P&F magazine.

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  • From P&F Magazine
  • March 2007 issue, pg 16
  • 3 pages

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QAI is not a consulting body, but it offers certification information and guidance to clients and potential clients. QAI is focused on the ongoing education of the organic community and consumers.

QAI currently certifies 17 companies that manufacture flavors, such as Citroil Enterprises, Danisco USA Inc., David Michael & Co., Frutarom USA Inc., Moore Ingredients Ltd., Sensient Flavors Inc., and Virginia Dare Extract Co. The certification process takes eight to 10 weeks from the time QAI receives and deems the application complete.

There’s no doubt that organic foods are becoming mainstream, with natural food stores like Whole Foods Market leading the way for more mass-market chains (including Wal-Mart) to add organic products. According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the overall organic food market has grown 28% since 2003, reaching $16 billion in 2006. With the increase in demand, food and beverage manufacturers are increasingly turning to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic seal as a mark of approval. In fact, according to the OTA’s 2006 Manufacturer Survey, over 50% of respondents reported that the USDA label increased their ability to generate sales of organic products. As the organic industry grows, regulations and labeling requirements also are changing. How can flavorists keep up? P&F magazine recently spoke with QAI technical specialist Jessica Walden to get the answers to top questions we received from you—the flavorists.

Questions Answered:

  • What flavor ingredients are considered “agricultural” vs. “non-agricultural” and how are they assessed for compliance under the NOP Rule?
  • What are the organic requirements for flavor ingredients?
  • Are there special labeling requirements for organic flavors?
  • How should each type of flavor (100% organic, made with organic, etc.) be labeled on a finished consumer product’s ingredient declaration?
  • What verification documentation do I need to obtain from my suppliers to prove that the ingredients are organically certified?
  • Please define “commercial availability” and describe how it affects the ingredients we use to create and manufacture certified organic flavors.
  • How will the commercial availability changes that will be enforced on June 9, 2007 affect ingredients used in organic flavors?
  • If I produce a flavor key to be used in my organic flavor, must I disclose those individual ingredients to QAI? If yes, is this information kept confidential?
  • Do I include the weight of solvents and carriers when calculating the organic ingredient percentages of my final flavor product?
  • For those of us already manufacturing and selling certified organic flavors, how will the upcoming changes (sunset, definitions of “agricultural” and “non-synthetic”) affect our current certified organic flavors and the ingredients we use to make them?

This is only an excerpt of the full article that appeared in P&F Magazine, but you can purchase the full-text version.