IPPA has developed a statement on behalf of its member companies to clarify the facts about the application of pectin in organic products.
Pectin in Organic Food Products
IPPA (the International Pectin Producers’ Association) is a global association of the principal companies who manufacture pectin.
To address any uncertainty regarding the application of pectin in organic food products, IPPA has issued the following statement to help clarify the situation:
In the USA the use of pectin in processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s))” is subject to USDA NOP Regulation.
In the “National list of allowed and prohibited substances (Update June 2018)” pectin (non-amidated forms only) is on the § 205.606 list (Non organically produced agricultural products allowed). Yet, organic certified pectin must be used if available.
In EU pectin (non-amidated pectin) can be used in plant- and milk based organic food products.
Private certifying organisations may apply rules that are not in accordance with the above official legislation (e.g. they may require that pectins used must be of organic origin after a certain date)
Commercial pectin products are extracted from selected natural vegetable raw materials (mainly citrus fruit peel and apple pomace) by a watery extraction at low pH usually using addition of mineral acid to create a controlled acidity. By adding alcohol to the extract pectin is precipitated in a pure form. The commercial product is further dried and milled into a powder and may be standardized by adding sugar or dextrose to a constant grade of functionality.
Specific functional properties (especially gel formation and stabilization features) are controlled by selecting proper raw material and observing specific suitable extraction and processing conditions.
It is the opinion of IPPA that at present organically produced pectin raw materials are neither available in a quality – nor in a quantity – that could be the basis for an industrial production of commercial organic pectin products. Based on currently available information, to the best of IPPA’s knowledge, this situation is not likely to change within the next 5 year period.