Organic Food in India


Organic food, biological food or ecological food is food and drink produced using methods that are compatible with the organic principles of agriculture. Principles vary around the world, but agriculture is a practice that recycles resources, promotes ecological balance and preserves biodiversity. Organizations that regulate organic products may restrict the use of certain pesticides and fertilizers in the agricultural practices used to produce these products. Organic foods are not processed with irradiation, industrial solvents, or synthetic food additives.


What are the Standards for Organic Foods in India?

Organic foods are regulated by Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations, 2017.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has the absolute authority to regulate manufacture, distribute, sell or import “organic foods” per the provisions laid under Sec. 22 of the Food Safety Standards Act, 2006.

The Regulations aim to benefit farmers by way of increasing their income. These Regulations recognizes two systems of certification i.e. Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) implemented by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) implemented by Ministry of Commerce and Industry. These regulations ensure integrity of the Organic Food products, and help in controlling unscrupulous practices in the market.

Indian organic food and crops market

These regulations came into force from the date of their publication in the Government Gazette, however the enforcement against these standards started from 01-July-2018.

The Offences and Penalties for the Food Business Operators who are not complying with the FSS Act, are provided under Section 48 and 49 of the FSS Act.


Who are exemption from the need of verification of compliance on organic food?

Organic food which is marketed through direct sales to the end consumer by the small original producer or producer organization is exempted from provisions of the certification.

Indian organic food products

Small original producer or producer organisation is the one whose annual turnover is not exceeding Rs 12 Lakh p.a.

Small aggregators upto turn over of Rs. 50 lakhs can aggregate and sell organic products from exempted farmers.


Which is the top most organic food brand in India?

The top most organic food brand in India is organicfooda which is praised by all its customers, even rivals in the industry.

Top Indian organic food brand logo


Where can i buy organic food in India from?

You may buy organic food in India from online organic food selling sites or specialized shops that sell organic foods rather than from a generic departmental store.

Organic food sale and purchase in India

What is the market size of organic food products in India?

The market size of organic food products in India is about 1000 crore rupees.

Indian organic food market size infographics


What is Microbiological Contamination of Organic food?

Agriculture has a preference for using food as fertilizer, compared to farming in general. This practice seems to be involved in the high risk of microbiological contamination, such as E. coli O157:H7, through organic consumption. But studies have found little evidence that actual outbreaks may be linked to organic food production. Germany E 2011. coli O104:H4. However, was attributed to fenugreek plant growth.



What is the Indian public opinion about organic food?

There is a public belief in India that nutritious food is safer, more nutritious and tastier than conventional food, which has contributed significantly to the development of food culture.

Although there may be some differences in the nutrients and antinutrients of processed and conventional foods, the changing nature of food production, shipping, storage and handling makes aggregation difficult. Claims that "food tastes better" are often not supported by experiments, but consumers often perceive organic food products such as fruits and vegetables to be tastier.

Consumers buy organic food for many reasons, including concerns about the impact of agricultural practices on the environment, human health and animal welfare.

In general, it appears that the preference of organic food varies by demographic group and behavioral characteristics. 

An American study found that women, young people, liberals and college graduates are more likely to buy organic food regularly than men, the elderly, the politically diverse and the educated. not good. In this same study, income level and race/ethnicity did not affect preference for organic food. 

In addition, people with less religious affiliation are more likely to buy organic food than those with less religious affiliation. 

In addition, seeking out natural foods was closely related to valuing vegetarian/vegan food options, valuing “natural” food options, and valuing American-made food options. Meat can also appeal to people with other restricted foods. One study found that people who follow a vegetarian, vegan, or pescetarian diet include more nutrients in their diet compared to omnivores.

A 2020 study on the sale of processed organic food shows that after strong growth in the new organic food sector, consumers have begun to buy processed organic food, which they sometimes think is good but is also better than the non-organic variety. and marketing information.

The most important reason for buying organic food seems to be the belief about the product' useful health properties and high nutritional value. The organic food industry promotes these beliefs and has fueled the rise of organic food consumption despite high costs and difficulties in science to support the claimed benefits. Nutrition labels also encourage consumers to view the product as having more nutritional value. Psychological effects such as the "halo" effect are also important motivators in buying organic food. For example, one study has shown that organic cookies are considered to be lower in calories than other cookies.


What is the taste of organic food in India?

There is no evidence that Indian organic food tastes better than their non-organic counterparts. Some organic fruits appear to be drier than conventionally grown fruits. 

Some foods that are picked when they are not yet harvested, such as bananas, are prevented from ripening when they are shipped to market and ripened quickly by exposing them to propylene or ethylene, chemicals that plants produce to make them ripen themselves, such as changes in flavor. and the texture at the time of ripening, this process can affect these characteristics of the treated fruits. 

Dried fruits can have more heat because of the higher aromatic content.



What is the chemical composition of organic food or organic farm products?

Vegetables at the Organic Farmers Produce Market

Regarding the chemical differences in the processing of food from agriculture compared to food from agriculture, studies have analyzed the differences in food, barriers and pesticide residues. These studies generally suffer from confounding variables and are difficult to interpret because of the differences in the tests performed, the research methods and because of the factors involved.

Facts about organic farming in India

Agriculture affects the chemical composition of food, these changes include:

1. Climate change (from time to time and from place to place)

2. Crop treatment (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.)

3. Soil composition

The cultivar is used and, in the case of meat and dairy products, the number of animal production. The treatment of goods after the first collection (whether the milk is pasteurized or raw), the time between collection and analysis, as well as transport and storage conditions, also affect the chemical composition of the given food.

 In addition, it is shown that organic products are drier than the original products; A high content in any chemical class can be defined by a concentration higher than the absolute limit. What are the nutrients in organic food?

Many people believe that organic foods are more nutritious and therefore better than processed foods. However, scientists have not yet agreed that this is the case because field research has not shown consistent results.

A 2009 systematic review found that organic foods are not higher in vitamins and minerals than foods that are produced earlier.

A systematic review found that nitrogen content is lower and phosphorus content is higher in organic products compared to conventionally grown foods. The content of vitamin C, calcium, potassium, total soluble solids, copper, iron, nitrates, manganese and sodium does not differ between the two categories.

A 2011 study found that organic foods generally have a higher micronutrient content than conventionally processed foods. A 2012 review of the scientific literature found no significant differences in the vitamin content of plants and plants or animals, and found that the results varied between studies.

 Produce studies on the content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) (31 studies), beta-carotene (the first component of vitamin A) (12 studies) and alpha-tocopherol (a form of vitamin E) (5 studies), Milk studies reported levels of beta-carotene (4 studies) and alpha-tocopherol (4 studies).

A few studies have looked at the vitamin content of meat, but they found no difference in beta-carotene in beef, alpha-tocopherol in pork or beef, or vitamin A (retinol) in beef. The authors analyzed 11 other foods reported in product studies.

Likewise, organic chicken has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than conventional chicken. The authors of the paper found no difference in protein or fat content in skimmed milk.


A 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis found that organic meat has equal or slightly lower levels of saturated fat and monounsaturated fat than conventional meat, but a higher level of total and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. . Another meta-analysis published the same year found no significant difference in saturated and transfat levels between regular and normal milk, but higher levels of total and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in milk organic than conventional milk.


Food restrictions

The nitrogen content of some vegetables, especially green vegetables and tubers, has been found to be low compared to crops.

Previous literature reviews found no clear evidence that levels of arsenic, cadmium, or other heavy metals differed significantly between organic products and food products. However, a 2014 study found low levels of cadmium, especially in young fruit.

When analyzing environmental toxins such as heavy metals, the USDA says that the chicken that is cooked may have low levels of arsenic.



Studies on the phytochemicals of organic fruits have many weaknesses, including lack of measurement and poor reporting of change patterns, data duplication or selection bias, publication bias, lack of power in studies comparing pesticide residue levels. and organic and plant, Geographic origin of the sample, and the inconsistency of the farm and when the harvest method.

A 2014 meta-analysis of 343 phytochemical studies found that organic crops contained less cadmium and pesticide residues and 17% higher polyphenol content than organic crops. The concentrations of phenolic acids, flavanones, stilbenes, flavones, flavonols, and anthocyanins are elevated, with flavanones being as high as 69%.

Pesticide residues

The amount of pesticides that remain in food or in food is called. In the United States, before a pesticide can be used on crops, the United States Environmental Protection Agency must determine whether the pesticide can be used without risk to human health.


Choosing organic food and farming

A 2012 meta-analysis determined that detectable pesticide residues were found in 7% of organic product samples and 38% of commodity samples. The results are different, which may be due to the different levels of research used in these studies.

Only three studies reported that the contamination exceeded the permissible limit; all from the European Union.

 A 2014 meta-analysis found that conventionally grown crops were nearly four times more likely to produce crops than crops.


The American Cancer Society has stated that there is no evidence that the small amount of pesticide residue found in conventional foods will increase the risk of cancer, although it recommend washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly. They also stated that there is no research that shows that organic foods reduce the risk of cancer compared to foods that come from conventional farming methods.


The Environmental Protection Agency maintains strict guidelines on pesticide regulation by imposing tolerances on pesticide residues in or on certain foods.[107][108] Although some residues may persist at harvest, residues decrease as the pesticide breaks down over time. In addition, as the products are washed and processed before sale, the residue is reduced.


How much do parasites and animal products cost?

A meta-analysis of 2012 determined that the increase in E. coli contamination is not statistically significant (7% in organic products and 6% in conventional products). Differences in the spread of pathogens between domestic and wild animal products are also nonsignificant.


In the 21st century, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan and many other countries require producers to obtain a special certificate to market their food as organic. Although home grown produce may be organic, the sale of organically labeled food is regulated by government food safety agencies, such as the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Organic Program or the European Commission. (EC).

From an environmental perspective, fertilizers, over-production and use of pesticides in agriculture can have a negative impact on the environment, soil health, biodiversity, groundwater and water. Environmental and health problems are intended to be reduced or avoided in organic farming.

The demand for organic food is often driven by consumer concerns for personal health and the environment, such as the negative environmental effects of pesticides.

 From a scientific and consumer point of view, there is not enough evidence in the scientific and health literature to support the claim that organic food is more safe or healthy than eating more food.

 Subsistence farming has higher production costs and lower yields, higher labor costs and higher consumer prices compared to conventional farming methods.

The idea that organic food could be better and better for the environment began during the movement following books such as the 1943 book The Living Soil and Farming and Gardening for Health or Disease (1945). During the industrial age, organic farming reached a low level of popularity in the United States in the 1950s. In the 1960s, environmentalists and the counterculture advocated organic food, but it was only in the 1970s that the national diet began.


Early adopters who are interested in organic foods are looking for foods that are chemical-free, pesticide-free, fresh, or minimally processed. They tend to buy directly from the producers. Over time, "Know your farmer, know your food" became the motto of the new plan established by the USDA in September 2009. 

The personal definition of what constitutes "organic" was created from the first experience: talking to farmers , to see the state of agriculture and agriculture. Small farms that grow vegetables (and livestock) using organic farming methods, with or without certification, inspect the consumer.

Small specialty health food stores and companies have helped in bringing organic food to the target audience. As the demand for organic food continues to grow, high prices from supermarkets such as supermarkets are quickly replacing direct links with farmers.

Today, many large farms have an organic section. However, for consumers, food production is not easy to see, and product labels, such as "certified organic", are used.

Currently, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan, and many other countries require producers to obtain a special certificate based on specific government regulations to sell organic food within their limits. Under these standards, foods sold as organic are produced in accordance with organic standards set by national governments and international trade associations. 

The National Organic Program (administered by the USDA) oversees the legal definition of agriculture in the United States and conducts organic certification.

Government regulations and other investigators are contacted for assurance. Food production is very different from home gardening. In the EU, organic farming and food are often referred to as sustainable or organic, or the abbreviations 'eco' and 'organic'.

In the United States, organic production is regulated according to the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) in accordance with the principles of Title 7, Part 205 of the Code of Federal Regulations to meet site-specific conditions by applying cultural, biological and cultural. a beneficial mechanical condition that promotes the recycling of resources, promotes environmental balance and preserves biodiversity. If it involves livestock, livestock should be raised with regular access to food without regular use of antibiotics or growth hormones.

Nutritious foods usually only contain nutrients. If non-organic material is present, at least some percentage of the plant and animal food must be organic (95% in the United States, Canada and Australia). Foods that claim to be organic must be free of artificial food additives and are often processed with minimal artificial methods, materials and conditions, such as chemical roasting, incineration and processed ingredients.

Herbs are acceptable as long as they are not synthetic. However, according to the United States Federal Organic Standards, if pests and diseases are not controlled by management methods or pesticides and herbicides, "something on the National List of Synthetic Substances approved for use in produce plant products that can be used to prevent, prevent or control pests, weeds or diseases." 

Many groups have called for organic regulations to ban nanotechnology based on the precautionary principle because of the unknown dangers of nanotechnology. The use of products based on nanotechnology in the production of organic food is prohibited in some regions (Canada, the UK and Australia) and there is no law in others.


To be certified organic, products must be grown and manufactured in a manner that adheres to standards set by the country they are sold in:

          Australia: NASAA Organic Standard


          European Union: EU-Eco-regulation

o          Sweden: KRAV

o          United Kingdom: DEFRA

o          Poland: Association of Polish Ecology

o          Norway: Debio Organic certification

          India: National Program for Organic Production (NPOP)

          Indonesia: BIOCert, run by Agricultural Ministry of Indonesia.

          Japan: JAS Standards

          Mexico: Consejo Nacional de Producción Orgánica, department of Sagarpa

          New Zealand: there are three bodies; BioGro, AsureQuality, and OFNZ

          United States: National Organic Program (NOP) Standards

In the United States, there are four different levels or categories for organic

1.        "100% Organic": This means that all ingredients are produced organically. It also may have the USDA seal.

2.        "Organic": At least 95% or more of the ingredients are organic.

3.        "Made With Organic Ingredients": Contains at least 70% organic ingredients.

4.        "Less Than 70% Organic Ingredients": Three of the organic ingredients must be listed under the ingredient section of the label.

In the U.S.A, the food label "natural" or "all natural" does not mean that the food was produced and processed organically


Health and Safety with Organic Food Products

There is very little scientific evidence on the human health benefits or harms of eating foods rich in organic foods, and it is difficult to conduct rigorous experiments on this topic. In ten of the included studies (83%), the most common outcome was changes in antioxidant activity. 

Infographics showing health and safety with organic products in India

Antioxidant levels and activity are useful biomarkers but do not directly correlate with health outcomes. In the remaining two papers, one documented the atopic events of the proxy reported as the main health factor, while the other paper analyzed the fatty acid composition of breast milk and contributed to the health benefits that infants may have. . from breast milk." 

Also, as mentioned above, the difficulty in accurately and precisely measuring the chemical differences between organic and traditional foods makes it It is difficult to derive medical advice based solely on chemical analysis. 

According to a recent review, studies have found negative effects of some toxic drugs on children's cognitive development at current exposure levels. Many pesticides exhibit neurotoxicity in laboratory animal models and some are considered endocrine disruptors. 

As of 2012, the scientific consensus is that "consumers may choose to buy organic fruits, vegetables and meat because they believe they are more nutritious than other foods... the balance of things The current scientific evidence does not support this theory." 

Evidence of beneficial health effects from eating nutritious foods is limited, leading researchers to call for long-term studies. In addition, studies suggesting organic foods may be better than conventional foods face important methodological challenges, such as the relationship between organic food consumption and known promote healthy living.

The widespread use of antibiotics in livestock using non-organic meats is a major cause of antibiotic resistance. Environmental support

From an environmental point of view, fertilizers, overproduction and use of pesticides in agriculture have caused and are causing massive damage to the environment, soil health, biodiversity, and supply groundwater and drinking water, and sometimes the health and fertility of farmers.

Organic farming reduces some of the environmental impacts compared to conventional farming, but the extent of the reduction can be difficult to quantify and varies depending on the farming method. In some cases, reducing food waste and food conversion can provide greater benefits.


What is the exposure to pesticides on organic foods?

The promise of improving food safety has focused on pesticide residues. The reason for these concerns is the fact that "

(1) Acute and chronic exposure to pesticides can have serious health effects;

 (2) Food products have sometimes been contaminated with pesticides, which can cause severe poisoning

(3) Most, if not all, commercially grown foods contain traces of agricultural pesticides."

Toxicological research of synthetic chemicals, without similar research of natural chemicals, has resulted in an imbalance in both data and understanding of chemical carcinogens. The three points we discussed show that natural chemicals should be compared with synthetic chemicals.

1.) The vast majority of chemicals that humans are exposed to are self-inflicted. However, the public often views chemicals as only synthetic and thinks that synthetic chemicals are toxic even though all natural chemicals are toxic in some form. The average American's daily exposure to pesticides in food is 2,000 mg, and exposure to natural pesticides (chemicals plants produce to protect themselves) is 1,500 mg. In comparison, the total daily exposure to all synthetic pesticide residues combined is 0.09 mg. Therefore, it is estimated that 99.99% of pesticides consumed by humans are natural. 

Despite the high exposure to natural chemicals, 79% (378 out of 479) of the chemicals tested for carcinogenicity in rats and mice were synthetic (ie, they do not occur on their own).

2.) It is often wrongly assumed that humans have developed defenses against natural chemicals in our food, but not against synthetic chemicals. However, the defense mechanisms developed by animals are more general than specific chemical ones;

Also, the protection is generally inducible and therefore protects well against small doses of synthetic and natural chemicals.

3.) Because the toxicology of natural and synthetic chemicals is similar, one expects (and finds) a similar rate of positivity for carcinogenicity between synthetic and natural chemicals. It is likely that almost all the fruits and vegetables in the store contain toxic pesticides.



There is a lot of scope in the organic food products selling in India for traders as well as the manufacturers. Indian public is also likely to get pure organic food for their health and fitness. With proper regulations and standards India may become an organic food hub of the world.

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