29. Inulin enriched with Oligofructose
Comes from: Derived from the roots of the chicory plant. Used in: Inulin is used in baked goods, low fat cookies, used as a binder in nutritional bars, in fruit preparations for yogurt, in frozen dessert and is added to cereal for fiber content. It is used by the petitioner, Stonyfield Farm, to increase the nutritional value of calcium in yogurt by making it easier for the body to absorb. Petitioner: Stonyfield Farm (New Hampshire). Reason for Petition: "We do not want to see organic become synonymous with less nutritious," according to the petition. "No organic inulin available today has been proven (to the satisfaction of our labeling regulators) to increase calcium bioavailability."
30. Konjac Flour
Comes from: Derived from a large variety of tuberous herbaceous plants but most prominently from ground elephant yams. Used in: Used as a gelling agent, thickener, emulsifier, and stabilizer. As a thickener, it's used in gravies, sauces, glazes, soups, stews, casseroles, pies, puddings, custards, and cake fillings. Petitioner: N/A* Reason for Petition: N/A*
31. Frozen Lemongrass
Comes from: Also known as citronella or fever grass, lemongrass in its natural state is usually bruised to release its lemon flavored oils or essence and then added to recipes as an ingredient. Used in: Frozen lemongrass purportedly provides a more distinct lemon flavor than fresh lemongrass and has a longer shelf life. It's used as a citrus flavoring agent in South East Asian-style foods. Petitioner: Amy''s Kitchen (California). Reason for Petition: While dry lemongrass is available, frozen is not available in organic form. "Amy's Kitchen intends to use organic frozen lemongrass when supplies are available that have been appropriately harvested, processed and frozen to meet our target flavor profile," the petition reads. OCA's Objection: The ingredient is "available in quantities sufficient enough to serve the organic industry."
32. Orange Shellac
Comes from: Unbleached orange shellac comes from a mixture of dried resins that are derived from secretions of the Lac insect found most predominantly in India and Thailand. Used for: Orange shellac is used as a glazing or polishing agent on fruits and vegetables. It may also be used as a color dilutant or as an ingredient for glazing of confectionery products. The product may also be used to coat fruits and vegetables to limit moisture loss and keep quickly via naturally produced ethylene. Petitioner: N/A* Reason for Petition: N/A*the foods from ripening too
33. Chipotle Chile
Comes from: A chipotle is a smoked and dried chile pepper that's been allowed to mature on the vine from green to red. Used in: Used as a flavoring agent to provide sweet smoky flavor with added heat and spiciness to packaged foods such as salsas, soups, and burritos. Petitioners: Amy's Kitchen (California) and The Hain Celestial Group (Colorado), which includes the "Health Valley" brand, separately. Reason for Petition: This smoked chile pepper is not available in required quantities, though Amy's Kitchen contracted in 2006 to have a crop grown, harvested and smoked. "We believe reasonable quantities of organic chipotle chile peppers will become available in the next few years," according to the Amy's Kitchen petition, "because they impart a flavor that has become very popular."
34. Rice Starch
Comes from: Comes from milled rice of the rice plant. Used in: Rice starch is combined with other thickening agents and is used in food products such as yogurt that comes in a squeezable tube. It's also used in pet food, baby food, soups, dressings, bakery products, batter and breading systems, and gelled dairy desserts. Petitioner: Stonyfield Farm (New Hampshire). Reason for Petition: While some rice starch is available in organic form, and other starches (corn, wheat, potato and tapioca) are available, the waxy rice starch Stonyfield uses in its yogurt tube "Squeezers" is not available organically. "The Squeezers are subjected to freezing, thawing and refrigeration which can damage the texture and body of yogurt," according to the petition. "Since Squeezers are packed in tubes, the yogurt must be thicker and more solid than cup yogurt to extract the product from the tube without making a mess...Stonyfield is committed to the search for organic rice starch forms that are suitable for use, and will switch to organic sources as soon as they become available." OCA's Objection: The ingredient is "available in quantities sufficient enough to serve the organic industry."
35. Sweet Potato Starch
Comes from: Sweet potatoes. Used in: Sweet potato starch is used as a thickener in gravies, sauces, pie fillings, and puddings. Petitioner: N/A* Reason for Petition: N/A*
36. Turkish Bay LeavesComes from: Also known as Mediterranean bay leaves or sweet bay, they come from the bay of the laurel tree. Used in: Proponents of their use claim that Turkish bay leaves have a more unique flavor profile and exhibit lemon clove-like taste and do not impart bitter flavors like those found in organic bay leaves or their U.S. counterparts. They're used to flavor soups, stews, sauces, pickles, and sausages. Petitioner: Amy's Kitchen (California). Reason for Petition: "This agricultural substance is periodically unavailable in an organic form and, when available, may vary in intensity from pungent, bitter flavors making it, at times, unsuitable for use in certain organic foods," according to the petition.
37. Wakame Seaweed
Comes from: Wakame seaweed is a natural growing sea vegetable. Used in: It's used as a thickening agent in instant soup mixes, in soups and salads and also as a dietary supplement. Petitioner: Edward & Sons Trading Co. (California). Reason For Petition: The petitioner uses the seaweed in instant miso soup. There is no certified organic supplier of Eastern Pacific seaweed it prefers.
38. Whey Protein Concentrate
Comes from: Whey protein concentrate is manufactured from cheese wheys, such as mozzarella, and is used as a "fat replacer" in foods with high fat content and also for calcium boost. Used in: Cultured dairy and yogurt products, frozen dairy products, organic protein bars and baby food. Petitioner: Stonyfield Farm (New Hampshire). Reason for Petition: The petitioner imports whey protein concentrate to avoid rBGH-derived whey protein from U.S. dairies. It is unavailable in sufficient quantities in organic form because, as a byproduct of cheese-making, supply depends on sales of organic cheese, rather than sales of organic yogurt. OCA's Objection: The ingredient is "available in quantities sufficient enough to serve the organic industry."
* Denotes information that was not made public on the USDA Web site as of the publication of this story.
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