USDA Loosens Restrictions on Pectin Use

The USDA earlier this week announced its plans to lessen restrictions placed upon the gelling agent pectin, most often derived from fruits and found in jam, jellies and candles. The rule would supersede pectin’s place on the 2012 ‘Sunset List’, in which its ban would expire completely. As it stands now, the ruling involves lots of terms like “pectin, low-methoxy” and “non-amidated”, which essentially boil down to this; that organic handlers can now use non-organic pectin, but only if organic pectin is not commercially available. The ruling, which goes into effect in October, was issued by the USDA in order that the organic growers that the ruling effects have the opportunity to ‘reformulate their products’ (substitute synthetic pectin for organic pectin, found most commonly in orange rinds and apples). If you think you may be affected by these changes, and have questions concerning their implementation the USDA asks you to contact Melissa Bailey at Melissa.bailey@ams.usda.gov .