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The Importance of Salt-Free Products

The human body only needs 500 mg of sodium daily to function properly, and most processed fs' sodium content far exceeds this number. For example, a pre-portioned single slice serving of cheese has 1,662 mg of sodium, and even then you may need to add salt to your recipes to enhance flavor or extend their shelf life.

There is a large concern over the general intake of this mineral both by doctors and the public. It’s clear that we all need some of this important electrolyte in our diets for our bodies to function properly, but in some people, too much sodium can lead to hypertension. People with congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, and kidney disease must monitor their sodium intake, and everyone else should be aware of the potential dangers of too much sodium in the diet.

There’s been reaction in the food industry regarding the addition of salt to their products, and a variety of “low sodium” and “no added salt” products are now available.

At OSI, we understand your need as a manufacturer in this day and age. Our ingredients are clearly marked on our labels - we will never add anything to our products without you knowing about it, so you can be sure about what goes into your food. All of our seasoning blends are salt and sugar free, so that leaves you in full control over your final product. That’s part of our pledge to you.

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What are Oleoresins?

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What are Oleoresins?

Oleoresins are a naturally occurring combination of oil and resin that can be extracted from plants. They are a highly concentrated substance that exists in liquid form.

The extraction process begins with raw spices that are cleaned and ground, then the spices' oils are distilled using an organic solvent.
Different plants require different methods of extraction; common ways to extract are through water (steam distillation), oil, and alcohol, and each can vary in the level of concentration they produce. The content can be controlled and fine tuned through the use of various solvents and pressures. 

For final use, these products are typically dispersed in a dry neutral carrier or liquid such as vegetable oil to the desired strength. They have many applications:

  • As a coloring agent in butter, cheese, meats, snack foods, and cereals
  • In jellies, jams, and gelatin preparations
  • In poultry feed to enhance the color of eggs and poultry
  • In frozen foods, desserts, soups, fish preserved in oil, meat sauces, or any prepared food where a more vibrant color is desired
  • In the preparation of some medicines
  • In soaps, candle making, and hair lotions

Because they have the same properties as the original spice, they can replace whole or ground spices without compromising aroma, flavor, or texture.
As a result, oleoresins have a lot of advantages over whole or ground spices. Oleoresins are easy to store and transport because concentrated forms reduce space and bulk. They can be more heat stable than raw spices and have a longer shelf life due to lower moisture content.

Radiation, synthetic chemicals, and high heat destroy precious plant properties. Distinguishing various methods of extraction for each particular plant and working in small batches ensures product freshness. Our oleoresins are free from contamination and standardized so you are assured of consistent concentration and flavor.

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Asafoetida: What's The Buzz?

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Asafoetida: What's The Buzz?

Asafoetida, or hing, is a spice that can be alarming to the uninitiated - strong, brash, and potent, it's not for the weak palate. Used mostly in central Asian cuisine, western nicknames for this spice are devil's dung and stinking gum. In fact, the name Asafoetida is derived from the word "fetid" - or, "smelling extremely unpleasant".

While odorous right out of the container, asafoetida tempers beautifully when cooked. Traditionally, a small amount is sauteed with hot ghee or oil, and then the oil is used to cook curries. Asafoetida is a popular substitute for onion and garlic in Eastern buddhist cuisine, and the flavor is reminiscent of leeks.

Asafoetida is harvested gum from the Ferula plant, and is usually "cut" with flour so that it can be easily used in culinary applications. Our organic asafoetida product is cut with ground fenugreek, so it's gluten-free and anyone can enjoy it! 

 

Inquire about our organic, gluten-free asafoetida.

 

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New Products from OSI!

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New Products from OSI!

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[MADE] Charcuterie With Organic Spices

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[MADE] Charcuterie With Organic Spices

We are excited to work with Trou Normand, a local restaurant in the Soma district of San Francisco.
Chef Salvatore Cracco uses only organic spices (from our retail SPICELY line) to create delicious charcuterie, such as guanciale, mortadella, pate, and various sausages. 
[click for more photos]

Culinary trends tend to trickle down from innovative forerunners like Trou Normand (a sister restaurant to the James Beard award winning Bar Agricole). We expect that in the next couple of years, more and more restaurants will be switching from conventional to organic ingredients. The growing trend is that eaters want to assurance that their food is real - traceability and certifications will play a larger role in both restaurant hospitality and food manufacturing.


 

Does your business already use our certified organic spices and herbs? If so, we'd love to feature you on our blog!
Please contact us and our PR team will get back to you as soon as possible. 

 

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OSI launches B2B Commerce

While consumer ecommerce is getting more and more sophisticated, online B2B commerce lags behind. Yet the case for B2B ecommerce has never been stronger. Forrester Research reports that moving your B2B customers from offline to online ordering channels delivers significant competitive advantages, including decreased customer acquisition costs, higher average order value, ability to service more accounts, increased customer lifetime value, and an 80% decrease in commerce related error. With such clear benefits, B2B ecommerce is on its way to becoming universally adopted.

OSI has created a powerful B2B ecommerce portal for NetSuite SuiteCommerce customers. The portal extends NetSuite’s capabilities into an intuitive user experience that helps sell more products, retain more B2B customers, and helps inside sales reps focus on high value activities rather than on manual processes.

Key Features include:

 

Branded User Experience 

The B2B portal reflects your brand, with a user experience comparable to best-in-class consumer sites.The B2B portal allows you to market to your B2B customers, and gives them the opportunity to explore, browse, download files and research products. That ease of use translates to higher average order value.

 

Order Placement and Tracking

B2B customers can place and then track orders throughout the shipment process, taking the burden off your customer service reps. This streamlined sales support process allows you to deliver consistent levels of service at scale.

 

Invoice Payment and COA downloads

B2B customers can make payments using credit cards. And they can download certificate of analysis on placed and fulfilled orders. Once the account is set up, it’s completely self-service. Which means you can service any size account - from small, low volume accounts to large, high volume accounts.

 

Shopping Lists

The B2B ecommerce portal saves previously placed orders for simple checkout. Shopping lists make it easy to access frequently ordered sets of products and also help manage seasonal inventory needs. Sample and Quote request function also available

 

View Recent Order and Invoices

Customers/Partners can view and download orders as well as invoices, giving them full control over their entire business processes. 

 

Please contact your OSI account executive for a live demo of OSI B2B Portal

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Can Salt be Organic?

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Can Salt be Organic?

Can salt ever be defined as organic? Yes, if the term is used loosely as a marketing tool, but technically, no, it cannot. Let’s begin by understanding the differences between organic and inorganic as they relate to matter. 

An organism is a living thing and contains carbon atoms. Only organisms, whether living or dead, are defined as organic substances. Non-living things cannot be organic. They contain no carbon or hydrogen atoms unless left there by a living organism, and are considered to be inorganic substances or compounds.

The term certified organic is not associated with the nature of compounds. It refers to the strict guidelines that limit the use of pesticides and synthetic materials and do not damage the environment. It’s a regulatory system whose guidelines are set by the United States Department of Agriculture. Foods that do not comply with these standards are considered non-organic, not inorganic.

The requirement for certification is what sets organic and non-organic products apart. Independent organizations that act as advocates for the consumer oversea farm inputs and operation, and the growing and processing of agriculture that is to be certified. Without strict compliance, certification is denied.

There are many salts that are not processed and are free from pesticides or synthetic substances. They can be certified as organic in other countries by reputable organizations. But because salt is not an agricultural product, it cannot fall under the guidelines of the USDA Certified Organic program, and therefore we do not include salt in our blends. Doing so would compromise our products’ Certified Organic status. 

We know our supply chain so we’re comfortable with the assurance that we’re selling products with integrity. All our blends are salt free and 100% organic, with the exception of sumac, which contains 3% salt.
 

 

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Amazing Spice Video

An audio visual installation in association with Schwartz Flavour Shots, an innovative new
range of herb and spice blends locked in oil. What does flavour look like? How does it
sound? These are the questions that inspired herb and spice experts, Schwartz, to create
what they describe as a ‘Sonic Flavourscape'.

Several tons of black peppercorns, cardamom, turmeric, paprika, cumin seeds, ginger, chilli
and coriander were rigged to explode in perfect sync with a bespoke musical composition.
Each explosion represents an individual piano note or chord, which when filmed at high
speed, creates a surreal three dimensional sound scape.

The project bought together an eclectic collective of creative collaborators. DJ/Producer
MJ Cole was approached to translate the sensation of taste into a musical composition.
Film maker Chris Cairns and pyrotechnic designers, ‘Machine Shop’, then went to work
turning this sound into a physical scale.

Source: http://www.schwartz.co.uk

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Gluten and Food Manufacturing (Part 2)

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Gluten and Food Manufacturing (Part 2)

According to recent market researches, nearly 30% of Americans say they’re trying to avoid gluten, up from 25.5% three years ago, and this is among consumers who have no symptoms of celiac or gluten sensitivity but who believe gluten-free food to be better for digestive health.

 

Gluten in Spices

Some anti-caking agents are made from wheat flour or starch, both of which contain gluten. Anti-caking agents prevent clumping and improve storage, but they compromise the integrity of products labeled all natural.

But a more serious problem is gluten sensitivity, believed by some to be as high as 50% of the population. Spices and herbs do not naturally contain gluten but many seasoning blends are often combined with a carrier agent. The carrier can include salt, sugar, lactose, whey powder, starches, or flours, which can cause reactions in hypersensitive people. 

The United States Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act requires any products that contain wheat flour or wheat starch to be declared on food labels. 

 

Gluten-Free Facility

We are a gluten-free facility. What does that mean? It means that all our products are certified to be 100% gluten-free, and there is no danger of cross contamination. Choosing spices from companies that have good manufacturing practices, are willing to have their products certified gluten-free, and maintain stringent food safety and labeling standards are some of the ways you can insure that your product is gluten-free, from start to finish.

Check out some of our gluten free recipes on our Spicely blog!

 

 

Sources:
FAQ: How Much Do You Know About Gluten?
Anti Caking Agents and Free-Flow Agents In The Food Industry
How Many People Have Gluten Sensitivity?

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Gluten and Food Manufacturing (part 1)

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Gluten and Food Manufacturing (part 1)

It is well established in the medical world that what humans eat greatly affects how we feel in both the short and long term. Gluten has become a widespread topic of discussion as to how food products like pasta, bread and crackers may be harming us.

 

What is gluten anyway?

Gluten is a protein composite that is found in cereal grains like wheat and rye; it's what makes bread rise, sauces thicken, and dairy products emulsify. Gluten is the Latin word for glue, and just as its etymology implies, gluten is a very sticky protein. 

With any type of gluten intolerance, undigested protein residue sticks to the walls of the small intestine and activate an autoimmune response, leading to an assault on the intestinal lining. Untreated, it can lead to permanent tissue damage and loss of intestinal lining.

In the past 20 years a significant percentage of the population has expressed a sensitive to gluten, either from wheat allergy, gluten intolerance, or Celiac’s disease. Celiac’s disease is an extreme manifestation of this sensitivity, and it’s estimated that 1% of the world’s population has this disease, which represents about 2 million people within the United States.

 

So why the sudden rise of gluten intolerance and Celiac’s disease?

Medical diagnostic capabilities have leaped in recent years. What was previously diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or vitamin deficiency can now be correctly diagnosed as gluten intolerance. 

The only way to treat gluten intolerance is simply to avoid ingestion. Due to increasing awareness of these conditions, people have started to look at omitting gluten from their diets in hopes of relieving their digesting woes, whether they have the disease or not.

With the consumer population becoming increasingly conscious, producers will need to be able to present products that are safe for everyone to eat – be it organic, kosher, vegan, or gluten-free.

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Turmeric: What's The Buzz?

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Turmeric: What's The Buzz?

Turmeric is one of our top sellers, along with garlic and onion, for good reason. Savvy consumers appreciate pure natural food ingredients and are in touch with the potential healing properties of spices and their active components. 

Curcumin is a well known antioxidant derived from the rhizomes of the Indian spice turmeric, and is what gives this spice its vivid orange colored hue. It’s known to have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties, as well as other amazing potential health values. Both turmeric and curcumin extract have been widely studied for their capacity to kill various cancer cell lines.

Basic culinary spices are great for naturally stimulating body detoxification. This humble spice is a valuable addition to a regular healthful diet, and can be included in a variety of recipes or in combination with other spices for pennies a day. Turmeric can be used to prepare egg salads, curries, rice, onions, mayonnaise, salad dressings, lentils, soups, fish, chicken, turkey, and vegetarian dishes.

Our turmeric powder, oleoresin, and curry blends can be used with the knowledge that they’re completely gluten free, vegan, kosher, and 100% certified organic, which means they have not been irradiated so you get all the benefits nature intended.

 

Sources:
(1) Chemical in spice turmeric kickstarts cancer-killing mechanisms in human saliva
(2) Targeting Cancer Stem Cells by Curcumin and Clinical Applications.

 

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Steam Treatment of Spices.

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Steam Treatment of Spices.

All products intended for human consumption must undergo sanitation steps that eliminate deadly pathogens. These steps might include cooking, pasteurization, pathogen-killing chemical washes, and irradiation. In the spice industry, steam treatment, irradiation, and the use of ethylene oxide are common.

OSI uses steam treatment at the lowest effective temperatures to ensure plant efficacy because chemicals and irradiation are not compliant with organic practices and standards.

 

So What Is Steam Treatment?

Steam treating uses saturated steam under pressure for a specific duration and temperature in order to kill microorganisms. It is the preferred method in the organic industry because it kills spores without damaging the vital properties of the plant like enzymes, antioxidants, polyphenols, and volatile oils.

Some key concerns with steam treatment, if not done correctly, are that it could lead to moisture gain and mold growth in the product, destruction of antioxidants, and microbial regrowth.

To prevent this, OSI employs a rigorous process from the moment of delivery:

 

QA Processes To Ensure Product Safety

1. Visual inspection of containers and trailers for obvious signs of damage, dirt, or infestation. The shipment is rejected if any are found.

2. Internal inspection looking for off odors, signs of adulteration, metals or contamination. The shipment is rejected if any are found.

3. Samples are pulled for pathogen lab testing. If samples test positive, the shipment is pasteurized using steam treatment. The shipment is re-test it before it’s released for distribution. If re-tested shipments still test positive, we destroy the shipment.

 

OSI does not use any synthetic stabilizers, radiation, chemicals, or high temperatures that can destroy plant matter. OSI follows strict organic principles and routinely exceed the most demanding legal and ethical expectations. 

 

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