Glycerin: Handling & Processing

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Glycerin—produced by hydrolysis of fats and oils was added to section 205.605(b) of the USDA Organic Program’s (NOP) National List as a synthetic nonagricultural (nonorganic) substance allowed as an ingredient in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or “made with organic (specified ingredients  or food group(s)).” Glycerin has a wide variety of uses in many organic products as a humectant, a solvent,  an emollient, a sweetener, a bodying agent, a preservative, filler in low fat foods, an alcohol free solvent for  botanical extracts, cosmetics and pharmaceutical agents, a thickening agent in liqueurs, a hydrating agent  used in sports and energy drinks and in the manufacture of cellophane, cosmetics and meat casings. The petition proposes to remove glycerin from section 7 CFR 205.605 of the National List. The petitioners assert  that glycerin produced from organic starting materials using processing methods satisfying the Organic  Food Production Act of 1990 is now available in sufficient quantities to meet commercial needs. The  petitioners represent glycerin manufacturers that use an alternative method to hydrolysis, but hope to  incentivize the purchase of all organic glycerin products.

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