Requirements for multiple ingredient products
#Calculating percentage of organic content
Why do I need to calculate the percentage of organic content in my product?
When formulating a multiple-ingredient product, you must calculate the percentage of organic content to determine the organic certification category of the product:
- 100% Organic = 100% organic content
- Organic = 95% organic content
- Made with Organic = 70% organic content
Do I need to include everything I use for my product in my calculations?
You do not need to include processing aids in the weight of your organic ingredients or your combined ingredients. The difference between an ingredient and a processing aid are defined by the USDA National Organic Program.
An ingredient is defined as:
- Any substance used in the preparation of an agricultural product that is still present in the final commercial product as consumed
A processing aid is defined as:
- A substance that is added to a food during the processing of such food, but is removed in some manner from the food before it is packaged in its finished form
- A substance that is added to a food during processing, is converted into constituents normally present in the food, and does not significantly increase the amount of the constituents naturally found in the food
- A substance that is added to a food for its technical or functional effect in the processing but is present in the finished food at insignificant levels and does not have any technical or functional effect in that food
How do I calculate the percentage of organic content in my product?
- Update your Master Ingredient List
Start by finding the organic content of each of the individual ingredients that make up your product formulation.Your Master Ingredient List (MIL) tracks key information about all of your organic ingredients. Begin by checking the information on your MIL is updated with current supplier certificates. Along with your updated MIL, you’ll need a blank Product Formulation Sheet.
- Create the Product Formulation Sheet for your new product
Using your MIL, copy all the ingredients for your product onto your Product Formulation Sheet (PFS). Make sure the ingredient name on your certificate matches the ingredient name on the MIL and PFS sheets exactly. After you have all of your organic ingredient information, list all non-organic ingredients that will be used in the product (excluding water and salt) in the ingredient column of your PFS.
- List the percentage of organic content for your ingredients
This percentage organic content information is located on your MIL and your supplier certificate.
- Calculate the percentage of organic content for your product
The PFS will use the entered information to calculate the percent organic content for your product and help with product labeling.
What is the formula for calculating the percentage of organic content?
Percentages for organic calculations are always rounded down (e.g., 94.7 percent would be 94 percent). To determine the percentage of organic content in your multi-ingredient product, use the following formula:
Total net weight or volume of combined organic ingredients* / Total weight of all combined ingredients*
* Exclude salt and water
#Allowed processes for multiple-ingredient products
Which processes can I use for my product?
For the most part, common mechanical and biological processing used for food products are allowed under the USDA National Organic Program:
- From ingredients to product — Cooking, baking, curing, heating, drying, mixing, grinding, churning, separating, distilling, extracting, slaughtering, cutting, fermenting, eviscerating, preserving, dehydrating, freezing, chilling or otherwise manufacturing
- From product to retail — Packaging, canning, jarring and otherwise enclosing food in a container
- Advanced methods — High-pressure processing, infrared dehydrating/ cooking, freeze drying, and various purification technologies
OTCO recommends you always notify us prior to purchase of new technology to determine compliance of the new equipment, device, and its processing actions.
#Prohibited processes for multiple-ingredient products
Which processes are prohibited for my organic product?
Prohibitions for products under the USDA National Organic Program include:
- Use of all unallowed non-organic, non-agricultural substances (per the National List)
- Use of genetic modification and/or genetic engineering
- Use of ionizing radiation
- Use of sewage sludge