Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gluten Containing Foods and Ingredients

Following are reference materials regarding ingredients that either contain or might contain gluten:

The Celiac Sprue Association offers a list (but the link is currently unavailable).
Updated Jan 2012

Dietitians of Canada offers a list on their website:
Updated: Jan 2009

Gluten Free Living offers a list on their website:
Copyright 2008

Triumph Dining offers a list on their website:
Updated: Feb 2009

Scott Adams offers a list on his website:
Safe Gluten-Free Food List / Unsafe Foods and Ingredients

Saturday, August 28, 2010

FDA proposed GF Guidelines

I'm highly concerned regarding many manufacturers neglect of understanding what gluten free means.  Instead of caring about an individual's health and well being, manufacturer's are watching the growth of consumers purchasing gluten-free foods.  Many companies are stating that their products are gluten free, while the label directly states that the product contains wheat, wheat protein, ect...  For more information on the growing number of companies labeling products as gluten free, despite wheat content, go to: GF Alerts

The FDA, back in 2007, requested that manufactures not label products that contain forbidden grains (wheat, rye, barley, or contaminated oats), as gluten free.  See Section: 101.91 (a)

For more information on proposed FDA regulations from 2007, go to: FDA 2007 Gluten Free Labeling Guidance

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How Common is Gluten?

How common is gluten?

Gluten is not usually present in fresh from the garden, fruits, vegetables and roots. In other words, if an apple is picked from a tree, the apple should be free from gluten.

Gluten can be introduced:

(1) during germination (e.g. from crop rotation)
(2) during preservation (e.g. waxing apples with a substance containing gluten)
(3) during food production (e.g. factory belts, shared processing equipment, flour dusting (often used in factories that process sticky foods, wooden production equipment, etc...)
(4) during processing. Cross contamination (shared utensils, shared surfaces, cast iron skillets, wooden cutting boards, flour dust in the air, shared steamers, shared toaster ovens, ovens, shared flour sifters, shared strainers, shared deep fryers, shared condiments, etc...) during food production.

Most factories produce products that contain gluten. For this reason, most packaged foods contain gluten. Many gluten-free labeled products are made in gluten-free facilities, are made on production lines that use allergen-friendly sterilization processes, or are tested to be below the International standard which is currently 20 parts per million (less than a bread crumb).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How do I know if a product is gluten free?

How do I know if a product is gluten free?

A product is considered gluten free when it contains less than 20ppm of gluten.

If a product is gluten free, then that means it's 100% free from gluten, right?

Not necessarily.  A product that is gluten-free can still contain gluten.  Legally the product can contain up to 20ppm.  However, the gluten free label is not actively regulated, so some products may contain gluten even if the label states gluten free.  Generally mis-representation of gluten free happens when manufacturer does not thoroughly understand how gluten hides in processed products.

Will a product that has gluten, state gluten on the label?  

Not necessarily.  Some products may list contains gluten on the label, but general knowledge of gluten ingredients and gluten containing ingredients is important if you are on a gluten free diet.

How do I know that a product is gluten free for sure?

Regulation agencies like the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) and the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) test en free status of products for companies in exchange for a service fee.  The CSA requires products to be below 5ppm and no gluten free oats for their service mark.  The GIG, runs the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) which requires products are below 20ppm.  Products may contain oats and receive the GFCO certification.

Can a product be gluten free even if it does not have a GFCO or CSA seal of approval?

Of course a product can be gluten free without a GFCO or CSA seal of approval.  Gluten Free Specialty (GFS) Market and Distribution is currently working on providing customers with as much information as possible about the products they carry.  The will have a GFS seal of approval in the near future, which encompasses information provided by the GFCO and CSA.  Stay Tuned. :)