--Food Ingredients, Processing Aids, Labeling --
Farm to Table and Everything in Between
Processing foods into raw ingredient materials that can be used in our formulas is a fairly intensive process. And, the transformation of food substances into raw ingredients sometimes involves a little bit of assistance so integrity is maintained in the finished ingredient. This transformation may involve the inclusion of processing aids to support the quality end result.
Here at Laird Superfood, we do not use nor add any processing aids during our manufacturing process to any of our finished products. However, in an effort to include our consumers in ingredient education, some of our ingredient suppliers may use a processing aid in their final processing to ensure anti-caking for the milling and packing of their final ingredient. Very few ingredients we use have any processing aids, but for example our ingredient suppliers who make coconut milk powder out of fresh coconuts will need some form of processing aid in order to spray dry the product. It is noteworthy that not all processing aids are made from harmful chemicals and that the processing aids we allow are plant- and/or mineral-based.
Approved processing aids that a few of our ingredient manufacturers may use, in very minimal amounts, are such as:
• Organic Tapioca Maltodextrin
o Maltodextrin is a starch derived from Tapioca which is from Cassava root(Cassava root is an amazing superfood that we love). It is non-GMO and supports making sticky and/or high fat powders. It helps with flow, milling, and packing.
• Organic Gum Acacia
o Gum Acacia is a naturally occurring soluble fiber which supports sticky and/or high fat powders to maintain their flowability, milling and packing. Gum Acacia is sourced by tapping Acacia trees, refining the harvested sap, drying it and powderizing it.
• Organic Brown Rice Hull
o Organic rice hulls are steamed sterilized, ground, sifted and then used to help with flowability of sticky and/or high fat powders. Organic brown rice hull powder is a great flow agent and replacement for silicon dioxide.
Processing Aids and Labeling
Processing Aids (FDA 21CFR101.100) are in short – additives added to an ingredient at insignificant levels for their technical or functional effect in the processing of that ingredient – they do not have a functional role in the actual ingredient or final food product, and so don’t show up on ingredient labels. It is notable that ingredients such as the above-mentioned processing aids are not required to be labeled due to their insignificant level of inclusion (most often less than 1-2%) and because, by definition, processing aids do not have a technical or functional contribution to the finished product. In addition, because we use multiple suppliers for our ingredients, and due to each supplier using different processing aids – for example, one source may use brown rice hulls, while another uses tapioca for their processing, and often different suppliers ingredients will be blended – it inhibits us from adding it to our labels. However, if processing affects nutrition facts (e.g., adding fiber or carbohydrates), that would be reflected on our nutrition facts panel, as that data reflects the facts of the total product, including any processing.
We are dedicated to the continual sourcing of the best ingredients – on a global basis. And, as new technologies evolve for the processing of raw ingredients, new opportunities are continually presenting themselves for ingredients which need less help from processing additives, or as shown above we choose natural processing additives that we like.
We understand the importance of quality ingredients and we are able to work with most of our suppliers to customize the processing of our incoming ingredients to assure that they meet our ingredient guardrails. A great example of this is our mandate to our suppliers back in 2015 that we will not accept sodium caseinate as a processing aid in any of our ingredients – the FDA allows this milk-derived ingredient as a processing aid, even in “dairy-free” products – We simply don’t believe in this.
It’s our privilege to continually serve you with the very best quality and nourishing products possible. We are making a difference on many levels, and in particular by demanding our suppliers adhere to our high standards. Food Matters. You Matter.