Blog: Katy AskewUS gluten-free labelling regulations kick in

Katy Askew | 5 August 2014

The US Food and Drug Administration's rules on what constitutes "gluten-free" - first unveiled in August last year - come into effect today (5 August). 

The regulations mean any food manufacturer labelling products gluten-free in the market must meet certain universal standards.

The FDA set a gluten limit of less than 20parts per million in foods claiming not to contain gluten. Additionally, the FDA now allows manufacturers to label a food gluten-free it doesn't contain any of the following: an ingredient that is any type of wheat, rye, barley, or crossbreeds of these grains.

Foods such as bottled spring water, fruits and vegetables and eggs can also be labeled gluten-free because they inherently don't have any gluten, the regulator said.

"This standard gluten-free definition eliminates uncertainty about how food producers label their products. People with celiac disease can rest assured that foods labeled gluten-free meet a clear standard established and enforced by FDA," Felicia Billingslea, director of FDA's division of food labeling and standards, said.

Growing awareness of coeliac disease - as well as a rising number of people who decide to eliminate gluten from their diets as a lifestyle choice - have resulted in booming demand for foods that are free from gluten in the US.

Tightening the regulations and providing consumers with a clear understanding of what it means to be gluten-free will support this growth and strengthen consumer trust.

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