The FDA today published a new regulation defining the term “Gluten-Free.”
While we generally disfavor more regulations that make conducting business more difficult and potentially expensive, the new standard will define the playing field in the food and beverage space. Until today, the term “gluten free” essentially meant whatever manufacturers wanted it to mean – which was good and bad. Now, manufacturers can adhere to an FDA standard and have a level of confidence that their product, as produced and labeled, meets all requirements. Consumers too, can buy “gluten-free” with confidence that the products are in fact, gluten free.
According to the FDA, “gluten-free” means that the food:
…does not contain an ingredient that is a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat); an ingredient that is derived from a gluten-containing grain and that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour); or an ingredient that is derived from a gluten-containing grain and 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 (ppm) or more gluten in the food (i.e., 20 milligrams (mg) or more gluten per kilogram (kg) of food); or inherently does not contain gluten; and that any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food is below 20 ppm gluten (i.e., below 20 mg gluten per kg of food).
So what does this mean for manufacturers who label their product “gluten-free” if their products do not meet the new definition? It will be deemed misbranded. If they haven’t already done so, manufacturers should evaluate their “gluten-free” products to ensure that they meet the new standard.
Colorado Food and Beverage Lawyers
The Colorado Food and Beverage Lawyers at LaszloLaw provide counsel to the food and beverage industry on a variety of legal matters. Contact our Colorado Food and Beverage Lawyers today to discuss your business needs.