In May, the USDA amended the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, which identifies the substances that are permitted in the production and processing of organic products for sale/use in the United States. The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and USDA regulations prohibit the use of any substances in organic production and processing that do not comply with this list.

The final rule states: “Silicon dioxide is only permitted in organic products as a defoamer, unless organic rice hulls are not commercially available as an adequate replacement.” This change will take effect November 3, 2013 and products must be in compliance by November 3, 2014.

How can RIBUS help? This ruling is aimed at increasing the percentage of organic ingredients in organic products (reducing the amount of synthetics). At RIBUS, it is our intention to be an information center and to assist our customers and all producers during this transition period. We manufacture the patent pending, sustainable organic rice hull product, NU-FLOW, which effectively (and organically) replaces Silicon Dioxide in applications that require anti-caking or flow aids.

We sleep, eat and breathe these solutions, and our green, eco-friendly ingredients have been helping manufacturers and co-packers alike clean up their labels for more than 20 years. If you have questions about the new rule, product specs/certifications, or simply need formulation assistance, please visit our website at, contact us via e-mail at or give us a call at +1-314-727-4287. Please make plans to stop by our booth (#1623) at the 2013 IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo at McCormick Place South in Chicago, IL from July 14th – 16th where technical experts will be available to answer all your questions. You can also request a complementary sample for testing at

Additional Information/Clarification Pertaining to the Ruling SILICON DIOXIDE Restriction is intended to:

  • Acknowledge the existence of an organic alternative to a synthetic.
    Provide preference to organic ingredients going into organic products.
    Reduce the amount of synthetics going into organic products.
  • Limit the impact on producers and handlers.
    Allow producers ample time for product testing and reformulation.
    Recognize that organic rice hulls are an “alternative” to silicon dioxide, it is not an organic identical and may not substitute for silicon dioxide in all cases; and provide allowance for continued use in these rare cases (estimated to be less than 5%)
    “Commercially available” is defined under USDA organic regulations as “the ability to obtain a production input in an appropriate form, quality, or quantity to fulfill an essential function in a system of organic production or handling.”