KANSAS CITY — The number of organically certified items continues to increase. Pepper extracts and extended shelf life systems are some of the latest additions. Sourcing organic vanilla, however, could be problematic because of a tight market.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on April 4 said 31,160 certified organic operations are in the world, including 21,781 in the United States. The number of domestic certified organic operations grew by almost 12% between 2014 and 2015.
Kalsec, Inc., Kalamazoo, Mich., in January of this year said its plant in Denver City, Texas, had achieved organic certification by Oregon Tilth Certified Organic. The certification meets the U.S.D.A.’s National Organic Program standards as well as European Union standards. The facility in Denver City specializes in the cultivation, harvest, dehydration and extraction of paprika, rosemary and carrot as well as herbs and spices. The product line includes such specialty pepper extracts as ancho, capsicum, cayenne, chipotle, ghost, guajillo, habanero, jalapeño and pasilla. Another Kalsec manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo was certified by Oregon Tilth Certified Organic in 2015.
AB Mauri, meanwhile, now offers a line of organic dough-strengthening and extended shelf life systems.
“Customer inquiries about cleaner label ingredients as well as related supply chain and production processes, including organic and non-G.M.O., are a daily occurrence today at AB Mauri North America,” said Marie Thomas, vice-president of innovation – bakery ingredients for AB Mauri North America, St. Louis. “Interest is much higher now versus a couple years back when we would receive maybe one inquiry a week.”
The AB Mauri Bakery Ingredients Wilsonville plant in Portland, Ore., makes the organic products.
“Our organic products and the systematic plan used for their production at our Wilsonville manufacturing facility have been assessed and certified organic under both U.S. and Canadian law by Quality Assurance International (Q.A.I.),” Ms. Thomas said. “This assessment verifies that only organic-compliant or -certified ingredients are used in the product formulation, and our production process is designed to prevent contamination with non-compliant materials.”
Prova, with global headquarters in Paris, offers both organic vanilla and organic cocoa. Finding organic vanilla right now could pose a problem, said William Graham, vice-president of sales, North America, for Prova US, Danvers, Mass.
“The organic vanilla market is undergoing a difficult period right now,” he said. “So sourcing a supply of organic vanilla beans can be very difficult if not impossible to achieve on current availability. At this point there is no way to source organic vanilla cost-effectively. The supply just isn’t there right now.
“To work around the problem, processors can look into using alternatives like organic W.O.N.F.s, but then the ingredient becomes a flavor rather than an extract.”
The W.O.N.F. acronym stands for “with other natural flavors.” In this instance it would mean organic vanilla flavors with other organic natural flavors.
Prova offers a range of extracts and flavors that include those certified by the U.S.D.A.’s National Organic Program, Agriculture Biologique France (AB) and Fair Trade, Mr. Graham said.
Prova sources most of its vanilla, both organic and traditional, from Madagascar and also sources vanilla from other areas such as Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Tahiti. The company sources cocoa from Africa, specifically the Ivory Coast. Acreage is growing for organic cocoa crops and for all vanilla crops, Mr. Graham said.
“Right now, because of the supply issues faced in the market, there are major efforts to increase the supply of all vanilla crops, including organic,” he said. “However, since traditional vanilla makes up so much more of the market place, it gets more resources than organic.”