BELLINGHAM, Wash. Sweet Green Fields (SGF) announced its new innovative technology to overcome processing obstacles typically present in the production of organic stevia extracts making sure that the purification process is 100% conformed to USDA National Organic Program (NOP) regulations.
"Full compliance comes, as most will know, with using certified organic stevia leaf but not many will know that the production stages where the clarification of crude extracts occurs and the column chromatography need to be overhauled from existing practices. This is because only organic chemical production and cleaning aids are permitted in the extraction process and must be on the USDA's NOP national list of accepted processing aids. And finally, if ethanol is used, this also must be from a certified organic source," said Dr. Mel Jackson, SGF's vice president, science.
Jackson encourages food and beverage companies to fully audit their organic suppliers by "looking well beyond the paperwork."
SGF has undertaken several years of research to develop innovative processes that overcome these challenges and specifically comply with the USDA NOP regulations. These innovative processes, which do not allow for use of non-organic chemicals, create a "fully compliant" organic product line.
SGF Organics product line has the same taste profile as the company's current non-organic Puresse 100, Optesse HPX and Optesse HPS proprietary products.
In addition to creating innovative organic processes, SGF has recently harvested its first full scale commercial, Certified Organic Stevia crop. It has taken several years to develop the technology and protocols to both conform to USDA NOP organic regulations and produce crops that will economically compete on a global scale.
"When you commit to providing a seed supply that is certified organic and move that to a commercial certified organic growing environment (that doesn't afford the opportunity to utilize inorganic fertilizers, or agrochemicals), while at the same time you're working to mechanize every phase of crop production, there is much to learn with several years of trials to get commercially viable results," stated Hal Teegarden, SGF's vice president, agriculture.