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Innovation and Quality Help Intrinsic Organics Extract Success from Artichokes

With the help of: TechHelp


Intrinsic Organics, located in Weiser, Idaho, was founded nearly ten years ago by Dave Erlebach. Intrinsic Organics was the first company in the US to domestically grow certified organic Jerusalem Artichoke to produce 100% organic inulin and offer it in both a powder form and a high-nutrient syrup. Inulin is a soluble, prebiotic fiber extracted from the Jerusalem Artichoke that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and increases calcium absorption. Intrinsic is the largest producer in North America of USDA organic inulin and the company’s team has grown from 10 employees to more than 40. Today the company has two new custom-fit 15,000-square-foot storage facilities that provide environmentally controlled storage for the Jerusalem Artichoke.

The Challenge

Intrinsic Organics needed an internal gap assessment of their food safety and quality systems. TechHelp, part of the MEP National Network™, worked with Intrinsic Organics to develop a new custom program.  In addition, they needed assistance with their development and production leads to identify opportunities for improvement in efficiency, profit margins, and finding new market channels for their products.
It was helpful to have TechHelp as a training resource and follow up reference for SQF, HACCP, FSMA, PCQI, and sensory. It enabled us to define our sensory program and move us in the right direction for continued successful SQF audits. They continue to be and external support on our food safety systems.
— Wanda Coulombe, Director of Quality

MEP's Role

Intrinsic Organics has leveraged several educational opportunities provided by TechHelp. Several employees attended courses that covered topics such as internal audit programs, HACCP, Implementing SQF Systems, and Preventive Controls for Human Food. These courses were held both in-person and virtually to meet production needs and for safety during the pandemic. 

In addition, TechHelp was able to develop a customized program to meet the needs of their team to fulfill new roles. Working on-site with the food safety team and the internal audit team, TechHelp experts reviewed and updated their food safety plan to meet the current requirements according to FDA and SQF. TechHelp was also able to provide the required accreditation to meet the FDA requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act by having a PCQI (Preventive Controls Qualified Individual) and the SQF requirements of having HACCP training. Intrinsic team members attended TechHelp’s Practical Sensory Programs for Factories and Quality Managers course to better understand its product and processes. Attendees learned how to integrate sensory (the appearance, taste and texture of their product) into their continuous improvement, quality and food safety programs.

With TechHelp’s support, the company is also exploring using a byproduct of the process to create new ingredients for the industry. Intrinsic has explored a number of new market segments and has found promise with better product/process efficiencies and consumer claims for their customers.

Created October 8, 2021