On August 2, 2013, the FDA issued a final rule defining “gluten free” for food labeling requirements, including that the food must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The rule was announced online via the FDA website.
This guideline will help consumers, especially those living with celiac disease, be confident that items labeled “gluten-free” meet a defined standard for gluten content.
One manufacturer of gluten-free snacks, Extend Nutrition, had already met the FDA standard before the rule was officially adopted, company officials say. While the FDA has allowed one year for food manufacturers to bring labels into compliance, Extend Nutrition acted immediately with a website update and aims to roll out new product packaging in 2014.
“In our gluten-testing, we go one step further than the FDA guideline and use a test that can detect gluten levels as low as 10 parts per million,” says Jonathan Lindberg, Extend Nutrition outreach manager. “We recommend all 17 snacks for people who eat gluten free.”
Celiac disease, which affects nearly three million people, is an autoimmune digestive condition that causes damage to the small intestines and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food. The disease is triggered by the consumption of gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye.
In addition to those who have celiac disease, there are two types of people who benefit most from a gluten-free diet: those who have a wheat allergy and those who are gluten intolerant.
The FDA’s new rule means that a uniform standard will now apply to foods that use the term “gluten free,” “free of gluten,” “no gluten” and “without gluten.”
Extend Nutrition snacks, created by Dr. Francine Kaufman, are continually tested for gluten, Lindberg adds. Extend uses the anti-omega gliadin antibody developed by Skerritt and Hill for detection. This antibody, which detects both gliadins and glutenins, is the basis of the AOAC International Official Method for gluten detection.
“We recognize the need for healthy, gluten-free foods, and we have developed a line that is both gluten free and healthier than traditional snacks,” Lindberg says. “Our tests confirm the safety of our snacks for celiac patients and people with a wheat allergy who follow a strict diet of foods avoiding gluten.”
To promote the Gluten Free guidelines, Extend Nutrition is inviting customers to use discount code GFREE at theirwebsite for 20% off any order placed online. The GFREE discount code may not be combined with any other offer, is limited to one use per household, and will expire on 9/30/2013.