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. :)

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