organic guide

Customers often call our technical support hotline to ask one of our Gum Gurus® to recommend the best gum or stabilizer for their organic food product.

This question sounds straight forward but details like the regulatory environment, the desire to follow less formal guidelines, or even the process used to manufacture an ingredient combine to create a tangle of possibilities. And the stakes are high because choosing the wrong stabilizer for your formulation could lead to headaches and delays downstream.

"We value your development time so we want to start you on the right path. People who don't necessarily need to formulate with organics will sometimes lean on organic ingredients because they prefer the detailed documentation while others choose organic ingredients because of the consumer's perception of quality," explains Donna Klockeman, senior principal food scientist.

Your answers to a few questions early in the conversation will help narrow down the choices and reduce the amount of time you'll spend tweaking stabilizers.

Things to Consider When Selecting Gums for Your Organic Foods

Desired Level of Organic Compliance

  • What level of organic are you targeting?
    • There are different levels of organic labeling according to NOP standards. Once you decide which organic claims you'd like to make, our Gum Gurus can help you sift through our food stabilizers to determine which ones will meet your desired claim.
      • 100% organic
      • 95% organic
      • Made with Organic
      • Ingredient Panel
  • Are there international organic standards you need to meet? Many of our organic certified products meet EU and Canadian organic equivalency standards.

Other Labeling Requirements

  • Are your ingredient options bound by labeling restrictions like the desire to meet natural or non-GMO/identity preserved guidelines?

Organic Timeline

  • Are you planning to launch an organic version of your product at some point?

Even if you aren't formulating the food or beverage to meet organic requirements now, if there is any possibility that you might want to offer an organic version of the product in the future, you'll want to let us know about that up front so we can recommend gums that have both organic and non-organic options. Narrowing the list of ingredients that you can choose today is easier than reformulating the product later.

In the end, some ingredients simply are not available in a certified organic version

Another frequent question is the availability of organic versions of xanthan gum, pectin, or carrageenan. Due to the way those gums are grown or processed, it's difficult to segregate the raw materials in a way that meets organic compliance. For example, the citrus peels that are used to manufacture pectin are actually byproducts of juice production, making compliance difficult. In fact, according to the International Pectin Producers Association (IPPA), organically produced pectin raw materials are not available in a quality or quantity for the commercial production of organic pectin.

While there are no certified organic grades of xanthan, pectin, or carrageenan, there are grades that can be classified as "organic compliant." Read our organic system plan summary

Organic & Organic Compliant Ingredients

Organic Ingredients

  • Organic Acacia
  • Organic Guar
  • Organic Locust Bean Gum
  • Organic Inulin

Organic Compliant Ingredients

  • Carrageenan*
  • Pectin (non-amidated)*
  • Sodium alginate*
  • Xanthan Gum*

*If you plan to use one of these organic compliant ingredients in your organic products, please check first with our Gum Gurus as we may have versions of these ingredients that are not organic compliant. Request an organic compliant statement.

Call on Our Gum Gurus

Ultimately, the fastest way to select a gum or stabilizer for your specific application is to talk with a Gum Guru by calling our technical support hotline at (800) 899-3953 or chatting online.

choosing organic ingredients