Live steam is used to process a large number of foods, including many products that are sold as ‘certified organic.’ Equipment to generate steam and use it for industrial purposes has existed since at least the middle of the 18 th Century (Britannica, 2001). Efficient use of steam to prepare food beyond household scale was documented by the early 19 th century (Giedion, 1948). While fuels, metallurgy, control systems, and maintenance programs have changed since that time, the fundamental scientific principles, basic designs, and problems associated with those systems have remained constant. The production of superheated water under pressure suitable for direct food contact —known as ‘culinary steam’—requires food-grade equipment, clean water, and sanitary conditions where food contact is a possibility. Food processors have fewer options in metals, water treatments, fuels, and other aspects of steam generation and boiler operations than those who operate boilers for non-food uses, such as electric power generation. Organic food processors face even stricter requirements than those of non-organic food processors. Because water is a non-organic ingredient, it is not subject to the same requirements as organic ingredients. Unlike any other nonorganic ingredient except salt, water may exceed 5 % of the weight of a processed product labeled ‘organic ’ and ‘100 % organic ’ [7 USC 6510(a)(4), and 7 CFR 205.301(b) and 7 CFR 205.301(a)]. Water used in organic processing must meet two basic requirements
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