Saturday, September 14, 2013

Term "gluten free" defined for food labels

The Food and Drug Administration recently issued its final rule (21 CFR 101.91) on the definition of "gluten free" for food labels.

Gluten-free now refers to foods that are either inherently gluten free or foods that do not contain any ingredient that is:  a gluten- containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat);  delivered from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g. wheat flour); or derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch), if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million or more gluten in the food.  In addition, any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm.

The ruling benefits the more than 3 million Americans living with celiac disease, an autoimmune digestive condition that can be effectively managed only by eating a gluten free diet..  The gluten-free ruling applies to all FDA-regulated foods and dietary supplements.  It excludes foods whose labeling is regulated by the USDA and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).

All manufacturers that want to use this term on their products have one year to make package labels compliant.

Learn more here.