OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES OF ORGANIC BAKING
Preparing Organic Baked Goods
Regulations pertaining to organic yeast changed throughout the last decade in Europe and the US. Production guidelines were updated, and now organic yeast has to be considered in baking recipes.
There are equivalence agreements between different countries, meaning that organic products made and certified in one country are recognized also in another country. For instance, organic products made in the EU can also be labeled, represented and sold in Canada, the US, and certain other countries.
In 2002, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed national standards for organic food production and handling. Until October 21 2012, allowances were made for noncertified minor ingredients in products labelled as organic. However, distinctions are now made between products with varying levels of organic ingredients:
In the US, federal legislation defines three levels of organic foods:
1. Products made entirely with certified organic ingredients and methods can be labeled ‘100% organic’ and display the USDA Organic seal.
2. Products with at least 95% organic ingredients may be labeled ‘organic’ and display the USDA Organic seal.
3. Products with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients and may be labeled ‘made with organic ingredients’ but may not display the USDA Organic seal.
For products featuring ‘100% organic’ and ‘organic’ labels, they may also display the USDA Organic Seal whereas the third product category may not. Products made with less than 70% organic ingredients cannot be advertised as organic but can list individual organic ingredients as such in the product’s ingredient statement.
Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 defines organic production and labeling in the EU. The certification is handled on member-state level. The use of the EU organic logo for organic products made in the EU has become mandatory since July 2010. A products can be labeled organic if it mainly contains ingredients from agricultural origin and a minimum of 95% of these are derived from organic agriculture. Additionally, the product also needs to comply with the production rules laid down in the EU organic regulations. The certifying body’s code number and the EU or non-EU origin of the agricultural products needs to be indicated next to the organic logo as well . If less than 95% of the agricultural ingredients are organic, the term can be used in the ingredient list only.
Organic certification was implemented at the Canadian federal level on June 30, 2009. Certification is mandatory for agricultural products represented as organic in import, export, and interprovincial trade or that bear the federal organic logo. In Québec, provincial legislation provides government oversight of organic certification within the province, through the Québec Accreditation Board (Conseil D’Accréditation Du Québec).
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