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Are Organic Spices Worth It?

7 May 2024

All food product developers are aware of the organic versus non-organic debate. However, as the organic food market continues to grow, it’s time for brands to add organic products to their offerings. Yet, you may still be asking, “Are organic spices worth it?”

In this article, we will explain what makes organic spices organic, how they differ from non-organic varieties, and why they’re the better option for food companies and at-home chefs alike.

What are organic spices?

Organic spices are produced using organic farming practices, which means they’re free from pesticides and GMOs. Additionally, organic spices are not irradiated or fumigated and do not contain caking agents or chemical additives. 

Only spices that meet these requirements can be certified as organic in Canada and the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) evaluates spices based on two steps in the spice-making process: cultivation and processing. 

What are the differences between organic and non-organic spices?


Organic and non-organic spices are farmed in very different ways. In fact, these differences can begin before the seeds are even placed in the ground. The seeds of non-organic spices may be genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This means that their genes were altered in a lab rather than being a result purely of natural processes.

Farmers use a combination of insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides to protect non-organic crops from pests and weeds. The advantage of these chemical additives is that they help prevent crop loss.

However, trace amounts of herbicide and pesticide residue remain throughout the harvesting and processing of the spices. They can end up in the final product and, ultimately, in the stomachs of consumers.


The USDA requires spices to be sterilized to remove contaminants like bacteria, mould, and insects. Several sterilization methods are available to food developers today.

Non-organic spices are sterilized through fumigation or irradiation. Fumigation is the cheapest and most common method used to sterilize non-organic spices. 

Irradiation is another option for non-organic spices. During this process, the spice is exposed to radiation (typically, gamma rays, although x-rays and electron beams are always used). Certified organic spices use steaming for sterilization. It is the only sterilization process approved for organic products. This method uses dry steam to destroy bacteria while retaining the flavours and nutritional benefits of the spice.


Non-organic spices may contain ingredients other than just spice. Additives are frequently added to non-organic spice blends, but the FDA does not require these additional ingredients to be included on the label.

Common additives include ingredients like flour, sugar, rice, and salt. 

Environmental Impact

Organic farming practices and the spices they produce are better for the environment. They prioritize soil health through sustainable soil management techniques, promote biodiversity, and conserve water. No harmful synthetic chemicals, like insecticides or herbicides, are used.

Ultimately, this is better for the health of the soil, the surrounding environment, and the other species that live there. When farmers use cultivation practices that closely resemble how plants grow in nature, it’s good news for the planet.

Conversely, cultivating non-organic spices uses pesticides and chemical-rich fertilizers that can damage the environment. Non-organic farming practices can contribute to soil degradation, water pollution, and a loss of biodiversity without tight controls on use and practices.

Health Benefits

Organic spices are the healthiest spices available today. Steam sterilization preserves the vitamins, phytonutrients, and enzymes in the spice. In doing so, this maintains all the health benefits that the spice has to offer.

Moreover, organic spices are free from pesticides and other chemical residues that plague their non-organic counterparts. Some research suggests that consumption of these synthetic chemical compounds can contribute to certain health disorders. 


Lastly, organic spices are considered to be of higher quality than non-organic spices. Not only are organic spices grown in superior soil (the foundation of great flavour), but the steam sterilization process also preserves the spice’s original flavour, pungency, and aroma. As a result, organic spices elevate the taste and smell of dishes and food products. Their flavour and aroma are unparalleled.

Are organic spices worth the price?

Yes! Organic spices deserve a place in your product offerings. They appeal to health-conscious consumers seeking to limit their intake of chemicals and GMOs and those wanting to reduce their environmental impact by supporting organic farming practices. 

Furthermore, organic spices offer superior flavour and aroma, making them the better choice for recipe and food product development. After all, the more flavourful the product, the more consumers will love it.

The organic food market is large and growing. According to the Organic Industry Survey, sales of organic products reached a record level of $67 billion (U.S. dollars) in 2023. This makes 2024 the ideal time to start expanding your organic product range. Fortunately, Hela Spice is ready to help.

Organic Spices From Hela Spice

Hela Spice offers a full line of organic spices and ingredients. We have been a certified organic supplier of ingredients and ingredient blends since 2021. As a professional food product development company, our combined knowledge of ingredients, understanding of market trends, and technical expertise allows us to expertly service the manufacturing segment of the organic market.

Our R&D team is extremely experienced across product categories, including custom spice blends. We can create products based on our customers’ ideas or offer new product ideas and fully developed concepts.

Additionally, our real plant production experience makes processing simple and efficient.

Hela Spice: North America’s Top Food Product Development Company

Hela Spice is the leading food product development company in North America. We also offer custom spice blending using high-quality, organic ingredients. From R&D to manufacturing, our food experts are ready to create your next best-selling food product.

To learn more about our food product development company, visit our website or contact us here.

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