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Insight: ins and outs of organic lecithin
Expertise
November 02, 2021
Sourcing 100% organic lecithin for your clean label products

The market for organic food products is growing fast. The global organic food market was valued at USD167.85 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD368.94 billion by 2026. In the EU retail sales totaled €41.5 billion in 2019. In the same year, organic products represented 19% of product introductions. In addition, organic retail sales are projected to grow by 8% per year. With more and more retail shelf space devoted to organic products, they have gone from being a niche market to a mainstream offering. Key product categories are confectionary, bakery, margarine, culinary, savory, infant nutrition and dairy.

Organic market drivers
This market increase is driven by a number of factors. Younger consumers, particularly millennials, are more selective about the food products they buy and eat. They want to contribute to a food chain that's cleaner, more transparent and more responsible. As a result, they're looking for healthy, clean label products that preserve land, biodiversity and ground water quality.

Governments' push towards sustainability accelerates organic farming
At the same time, governments are adopting strategies to promote the production and consumption of organic products. The European Commission's Green Deal aims to transition to a sustainable food system in which Europe’s organically farmed land increases from 7.7% currently to 25% by 2030.  And the Carbon Farming initiative and the EU Zero Pollution action plans further promote and support the transition to organic farming. On top of the EU wide regulations and initiatives, at a national level, EU countries each have their own programs and incentives to support organic developments.

No standardized certification agency
As a global manufacturer you have to navigate and apply multiple regional and also the national legislations relating to food products. However, there's no European, let alone global, certification authority for organic food production. Bunge Loders Croklaan has extensive experience and knowledge about the regional certifications, like for example USDA (NOP 205.102) for North America, the China National Organic Standards and the Skal Biocontrole, the independent organization that monitors the organic chain in the Netherlands and certifies companies engaged in organic production for Europe. We can help customers navigate these ever changing regulations to ensure their products meet organic standards, but we are also aware of related standards like FSCC22000, GMP+ and Project Verified Non-GMO that might impact food production processes.

Ensuring organic, much more than just "pesticide-free"
There are significant challenges in sourcing a regular supply of high-quality, certified organic lecithin that supports your clean label claims.
Organically produced lecithin starts with organically grown oilseeds:
• Non GMO oilseeds 
• No pesticides 
• No synthetic crop protection products

And the next step, producing lecithin from these organic raw materials is subject to the following regulations:
• Oil can be obtained from pressing only
• Only water-degumming allowed, no chemicals
• Standardization only allowed with organic Free Fatty Acids (FFA) or Oil
• No hydrogen peroxide allowed

All of these demands leads to a longer production processes and more complex supply chain. Additionally with farmers still transitioning to organic farming, it can be difficult to find raw materials that truly meet all these standards. To assure 100% organic provenance of our materials, Bunge Loders Croklaan has a rigorous  approval process in place that includes auditing suppliers' raw materials at the source. Furthermore we thoroughly test every batch for some 752 pesticides in our lab without exception. And if it is not does not pass, it does not get shipped. All to make sure our customers can always trust they're getting 100% organic lecithin.

Keeping up with changing regulations
Regulations around organic are constantly tightening. 

Furthermore regulation EU 2018/848 replaced EU 834/2007 and EU 889/2008, enticing the following changes for the European Union as per January 1st  2021:
1. It includes live and unprocessed agricultural products (animals, plants, seeds, mushrooms)
2. As from 2021 the regulations includes processed food and feed
3. Statues for certification for soil and seed provenance
4. Natural flavors will be limited to the mentioned ingredients
5. Flexibility to indicate origin of ingredients (98% vs. 95%)
6. No engineered nanomaterials are allowed
7. Restricted list for cleaning and disinfection products
8. There will be two systems to import organic products from outside the EU

Certified organic lecithin
With worldwide access to bulk supplies of tropical and seed oils, state-of-the art certified processing capabilities and years of experience in organic lecithin, Bunge Loders Croklaan reliably offers a range of certified organic solutions. As a result, our customers are able to develop 100% organic products that satisfy consumer demand for clean label products.

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