Friday, January 6, 2012

UK institutes gluten-free labeling regulations; could the US be next?

In June of last year, I wrote a post about gluten-free products and it was the most read post so far. Since this seems to be a trending topic, I thought I would continue giving our readers more info about gluten-free products.

Starting this year, the UK has developed new regulations in the labeling of gluten-free foods. The labels will include 3 categories (as reported by
1. Gluten-free: applies only to food which has 20 parts per million (ppm) or less of gluten.
2. Very low gluten: applies to foods which have between 21 and 100 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.
3. No gluten-containing ingredients: this is not covered by the law and is for foods that are made with ingredients that don’t contain gluten and where cross-contamination controls are in place. These foods will have very low levels of gluten but have not been tested to the same extent as those labeled gluten-free or very low gluten unless otherwise stated on the label.

Is the US next in instituting such regulations? The FDA took steps in 2007 to develop gluten-free labeling (products with less than 20ppm of gluten could use the term "gluten-free"). There was a lull in the FDA's development of gluten-free labeling, but the case was re-opened in 2011.

As a food business owner, what do you think? Will these regulations help or hurt the gluten-free industry? Do you currently make gluten-free products? Do you have customers asking for gluten-free?

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