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How to move to the forefront of the non-GMO trend

As demand increases for non-GMO ingredients, manufacturers have to turn to suppliers they can trust.

June 23, 2014
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Ingredion GMO

New products made with non-genetically modified organism (non-GMO) ingredients are on the rise in the United States.

Innova Market Insights reported a 42 percent year-over-year increase on products launched containing non-GMO ingredients in 2012. And, HealthFocus Int’l found that 31 percent of U.S. shoppers surveyed say the term “non-GMO” is extremely or very important to them on labels. That’s up from 18 percent a decade ago.

But, it can be hard for manufacturers to be sure that they’re actually getting non-GMO ingredients. However, there are some things they can ask their suppliers to make sure they’re getting the right ingredients, including:

  • Can you track non-GMO ingredients back to the seed, the grower and the field?
  • If your corn is “identity preserved,” what property is being “identity preserved”?
  • How do you segregate non-GMO corn from GMO corn?
  • What programs do you have in place to guarantee non-GMO status?
  • How do you control your non-GMO supply chain with contract partners?
  • Does an independent third party certify your non-GMO products? What are the standards used for certification? Do they match those of the Non-GMO Project?

Ingredion, global provider of ingredient solutions, is among the companies working hard to offer non-GMO products.

“Now you can create the non-GMO products consumers want with non-GMO ingredients from Ingredion,” the company says. “We offer the broadest portfolio of non-GMO ingredients available—from starches and flours to sweeteners and nutrition ingredients. Whether they’re derived from maize, wheat, rice, tapioca, sago, potato, stevia or seaweed mineral sources, all of these ingredients meet appropriate non-GMO standards and/or applicable legislative requirements of the countries in which we operate.”

The company uses its TRUETRACE program to trace its non-GMO starches, which are derived from identity-preserved maize. The program helps Ingredion protect their purity via global, third-party-audited best practices for segregation and documentation of non-GMO

“Procedures for growers — regarding seed, farm practices and production fields — are strictly enforced and audited according to established protocols,” the company says. “Using identifiers for each grower, we can trace any batch of starch back to the farmers who grew the corn, the fields on which the corn was grown and the seed varieties and lots used. Our manufacturing plant in Indianapolis is the only completely certified non-GMO maize wet milling plant in the U.S.”

Non-GMO Starches, Sweeteners and Nutritious Ingredients

Of course, non-GMO starches also can be derived from rice, tapioca, sago and potatoes. The crops either have to have no genetically modified versions, or have to be grown in countries that prohibit genetically modified organisms.

Ingredion makes sure the ingredients are non-GMO, and that the crops are manufactured under strict protocols to prevent contamination.

“Similar supply-chain protections apply to our flours, sweeteners and nutrition ingredients,” Ingredion says. “These include our gluten-free flours, whole-grain corn flour, and functional tapioca and wheat flours, as well as ENLITENReb A stevia and glucose, dextrose and maltodextrin. Non-GMO nutrition ingredients range from fibers derived from non-GMO maize to a calcified mineral source from wild seaweed.

Also, more than 20 Ingredion NOVATION functional native starches are enrolled in the Non-GMO project, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to independent verification of non-GMO status. 

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