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OMRI Materials Review

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What is electrolyzed water, and is it allowed for organic processing?

By Daniel Nguyem

Electrolyzed water, sometimes referred to as electrolyzed oxidizing water (EO water), is a sanitizing solution conventionally used to reduce microbial contamination on both food contact and non-food contact surfaces. Unlike many other commercial sanitizers, electrolyzed water solutions are usually generated on-site with specially designed electrolyzed water generating devices. 

An electrolyzed water solution is generated by...

How does OMRI address the commercial availability requirements for inputs reviewed to the Canada Organic Regime (COR) regulations?

By Nick Stansbury

CAN/CGSB 32.310 and 32.311 ensure there is a preference for the use of certified organic materials when commercially available. Clause 3 of CAN/CGSB 32.310 defines the term “commercially available” as the “documented ability to obtain a production input or an ingredient in an appropriate form, quality, quantity or variety, irrespective of cost, in order to fulfil an...

What is the purpose of celery powder in organic processing?

By Johanna Mirenda

Celery powder is listed in §205.606 of the National List, indicating that nonorganic sources are allowed for use in organic processing only when the powder is not commercially available in organic form. The manufacturing process of celery powder is fairly simple. Celery is harvested, cleaned, macerated and blanched. The insoluble solids are separated from the liquid and then concentrated, heated and dried. Celery powder is not typically...

Are there restrictions on the use of natural sources of methionine, or is only synthetic methionine restricted?

By Annie Amos

Methionine is an essential amino acid necessary for poultry growth and feathering. Poultry can not produce it biologically, so it must be obtained through diet. Birds can get methionine from natural sources including whole wheat, oats, alfalfa, fish meal, earthworms and sunflower meal, or from a synthetic additive.

The National Organic Program (NOP) regulations allow three forms of...

I know that Trehalose is used as a food additive for a variety of purposes.  Is it allowed for use in organic processing as a natural flavor?

By Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador

Commonly referred to as Trehalose or ‘Treha’, this disaccharide sugar is naturally produced by plants, fungi, yeast and invertebrates. It serves as an anti-desiccant during drought and a nutrient transfer medium in insects. Treha is catabolized by the enzyme trehalase and is effectively digested by humans into glucose. Historically...

What are the allowable sources of glucono delta-lactone and how is it used in organic processing?

By Johanna Mirenda

Glucono delta-lactone is derived from gluconic acid, with numerous uses as a food processing aid. Nonsynthetic forms of glucono delta-lactone are allowed for use in organic processing in accordance with its listing at §205.605(a) of the National List. Glucono delta-lactone is produced when gluconic acid  crystallizes in water. It is then isolated by filtering or...

Is erythorbic acid allowed for use in organic processing?

By Andria Schulze

Erythorbic acid is a stereoisomer of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). While ascorbic acid is allowed as a synthetic ingredient in or on processed organic products at §205.605 in the NOP regulations, the issue of stereoisomers is not addressed in the rule. A stereoisomer is a molecule that has the same formula and sequence of bonded atoms as another, but differs in its three-dimensional orientation. For example, if your hands were molecules and your...

What are alginates? How are they used in organic food processing and handling?

By Taryn Kennedy

Alginates are polysaccharides derived from marine algae and brown seaweeds, such as kelp. Similar to the structure-forming component of cellulose in terrestrial plants, alginates give brown algae both mechanical strength and flexibility. Alginates are among a suite of polysaccharides or “seaweed gums” that are extracted by the hydrocolloid industry for use in food processing and for medical, pharmaceutical, textile and...

By Evan Thomsen

The OMRI Canada review program turned four this year, and during those four years we have seen a number of recurring reasons why OMRI might not allow products for organic production under the Canada Organic Regime (COR) regulations. There are several points of compliance that determine the allowance of input materials; some are OMRI policy, and some are mandated by the regulations in CAN/CGSB-32.310 and CAN/CGSB-32.311. Below is a list of some of the common reasons why products do not end up on the OMRI Canada...

How does OMRI evaluate GE materials for use as ingredients in processed organic food products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic ingredients”?

By Taryn Kennedy

Ingredients and processing aids that are directly produced through genetic engineering (GE) are prohibited. OMRI uses 5 criteria to evaluate whether a product is directly produced through GE and is therefore prohibited: 1) Is the product a live GE organism or a live organism derived from a GE organism? 2) Does the product contain modified DNA that will be...