At March's Natural Products Expo West trade show, Cargill (Minneapolis) announced major moves aimed to demonstrate the company’s growing commitment to non-GMO traceability. At the show, the firm announced 13 new Non-GMO Project Verified Ingredients. It also rolled out the branding of its KnownOrigins identity-preservation process.
Growing Commitment to Non-GMO
The company announced that these 13 ingredients have now been verified non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project: stevia sweeteners, dry corn (mill, grits, flour), glucose heirloom syrup, corn syrup solids, dextrin, maltodextrin, modified food starch, native starch, mid-oleic sunflower oil, Clear Valley high-oleic canola oil, soybean oil, chicory inulin, and erythritol (using corn feedstock).
“The significance of this is that this particular group of products getting verified are from high-risk crops,” said Lea Buerman, Cargill’s food safety, quality, and regulatory manager. “The majority of them are from corn or soy, and as you know in the U.S., the majority of corn and soy crops are GM.”
Buerman told Nutritional Outlook that by offering more ingredients that are already Non-GMO Project Verified, Cargill is easing the workload for companies by assuring them that the ingredients are already vetted and certified. Prior to this, the company already offered Non-GMO Project Verified versions of its erythritol (using cane sugar feedstock), cane sugar, Clear Valley high-oleic sunflower oil, and Clear Valley expeller-pressed high-oleic sunflower oil.
“We’re seeing more of our customers coming to Cargill asking for Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients,” Buerman said, adding that when it comes to non-GM and GM ingredients, “Cargill believes that these two products can coexist, so we provide both GM and non-GMO options for our customers.”
At Expo West, the company also announced that it is branding its existing identity-preservation process under the trademark name KnownOrigins. This process includes traceability back to the ingredient producers; testing to verify non-GMO status; Good Manufacturing Practices and processes to prevent cross-contamination of GM and non-GM ingredients; ingredient reviews by the company’s legal, regulatory, and food safety experts; and “stringent raw material evaluation and approval protocols.”
“The result of all of this is that it gives our customers the confidence and trust that if Cargill says it’s non-GM, it’s non-GM and they can feel confident about putting a non-GMO claim on their package,” Buerman said.
Buerman said that by now branding the company’s longstanding identity-preservation process as KnownOrigins, “it gives us a name to talk about with our customers.”