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Regulatory Aspects of Organic Yeast

In recent years, regulations have changed in Europe and the US in regard to organic yeast. Production guidelines were updated, and now organic yeast has to be taken into account in recipes.

EU: Yeast needs to be taken into account in Organic Food recipe

Since December 31, 2013, yeast has been considered an ingredient of agricultural origin [Commission Regulation (EC) No 1254/2008]. In the EU, a product can only be called organic if a minimum of 95% of its ingredients derived from agricultural origin are in fact organic. Therefore, the yeast now has to be taken into account in the recipe of the organic product. The EU regulation does not allow mixing of organic and conventional yeast [Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008]. Certain private organic standards go beyond the EU regulation and ask the bakers to use organic yeast for all recipes using yeast since it is available.

USA: Use Organic Yeast for an Organic Food

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has ruled that, effective

October 21, 2012, “When used as food or a fermentation agent in products labeled as ‘organic,’ yeast must be organic if its end use is for human consumption; nonorganic yeast may be used when organic yeast is not

commercially available.” (Federal Register, Vol. 77. No. 109/Wednesday, June 6, 2012/ Rules and Regulations, page 33292, section 205.605). Since October 21,2012, a producer must use organic yeast in a yeast-containing food product if it is to be labeled as organic. If a product is labeled as made with organic ingredients, or if no marketing claim is made, then conventional yeast may be used. Previously, the USDA made allowance for noncertified minor ingredients in products labeled as organic.

More details on organic and certification in the EU, USA and Canada can be found:  (search organic)

There are equivalence agreements between different countries, meaning that organic products made and certified in one country are recognized also in another country. For instance, organic products made in the EU can also be labeled, represented, and sold in Canada, the US, and certain other countries.