FDA's New Rule Defines What is Gluten-Free on Food Product Labels
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced the publication of new rules for food product labels for gluten-free items. According to the organization's website, one of the main criteria foods must meet if their producers wish to label them "gluten-free," "free of gluten" or "no gluten" is a gluten limit of less than 20 parts per million, which is the lowest level that scientific analytical technology can discern.
According to NBC News, until now, manufacturers have been able to determine and indicate whether their products contain gluten based on the measurement of their choice.
"This standard 'gluten-free' definition will eliminate uncertainty about how food producers label their products and will assure people with celiac disease that foods labeled 'gluten-free' meet a clear standard established and enforced by FDA," said Michael Taylor, deputy FDA commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.
Manufacturers May Need to Update Custom Food Product Labels
The new rule was published on Aug. 3, 2013, and manufacturers will have one year to ensure their custom food product labels are compliant.
In its announcement, the FDA stated roughly 3 million people in the United States have celiac disease, making them gluten-intolerant. According to The New York Times, the gluten-free market is worth $4 billion. Brands may find they need to adjust their products or custom food labels if they wish to continue selling products to this important demographic.