The new FDA gluten-free labeling standards have been outlined. The standards will assure that products labeled as gluten-free are safe for consumers who are sensitive to gluten.
Gluten is found in products that are made of wheat, rye, oats, and barley. It is the substance that gives dough elasticity, helps it rise, and gives it a chewy texture. It is essentially a protein composite that literally means “glue.”
People who suffer from Celiac disease are sensitive to gluten. Eating products that contain gluten can cause serious health issues. A explained by the Mayo Clinic, gluten causes inflammation in the small intestine.
The inflammation can lead to diarrhea, constipation, anemia, fatigue, and numerous other symptoms. While there is no cure, Celiac disease can be managed by limiting gluten intake.
The new FDA gluten-free standards will protect people with Celiac disease from mislabeled products. The FDA has ruled, that to be labeled as gluten-free, food products must contain less than 20 parts of gluten per million.
Health studies have shown that people who are sensitive to gluten can tolerate minute amounts. The new standards will help consumers with Celiac disease avoid products that will make them sick.
As reported by Channel 3000, an estimated five percent of current gluten-free products are mislabeled. Registered dietitian Andrea Erickson explains:
“Up to this point, any manufacturer using gluten-free ingredients or they believe their product is gluten-free could put the gluten-free label on their product.”
Erickson points out that the new rule will hold all manufacturers to the same standard. Companies that label products as gluten-free will have one year to comply with the new guidelines.
An estimated $4 billion worth of gluten-free products were sold last year. The number of gluten-free products are expected to grow as more people are diagnosed with Celiac disease. It is estimated that as many as three million Americans suffer from the disease.
The new FDA gluten-free guidelines will prevent consumers from purchasing products with misleading labels.
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