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.