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.
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. 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,” said Jonathan Lindberg, Extend Nutrition outreach manager. “We recommend all 17 snacks for people who eat Gluten Free.”
Celiac disease, which affects nearly 3 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 said. 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 said. “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 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.