New gluten-free standard launched

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

WFCF has updated its Gluten-Free standard. Pic: ©GettyImages/JoyImage
WFCF has updated its Gluten-Free standard. Pic: ©GettyImages/JoyImage

Related tags: Gluten-free, Verification, Fda

Where Food Comes From – which provides independent, third-party verification of food production practices in North America – has launched the ‘Gluten Free by WFCF’ standard.

The new branding replaces the ‘Gluten-Free’ standard formerly administered by the company’s International Certification Services (ICS) business unit.

The move comes after a recent study – published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology – found that 32% of foods served in restaurants termed as gluten-free actually contained gluten.

“Based on anticipated higher demand for gluten-free verifications following the alarming results of the study, we decided to bring the standard under the Where Food Comes From umbrella, where it should enjoy a higher profile among consumers and potential customers in the food supply chain,”​ said John Saunders, chairman and CEO of WFCF.

More rigorous requirements to earn consumer confidence

Gluten Free certification

According to WFCF, the updated standard includes more stringent requirements based on a combination of quantitative analysis of the products marketed as Certified Gluten-Free, along with the required management practices aimed at minimizing the contamination of gluten proteins in the production system.

Analytical testing will be conducted and the strict limit of detection for testing assures that any present gluten is below the 20 parts per million (ppm) limit currently allowed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a gluten-free claim.

Approximately 1% of the US population suffers from celiac disease, however, an increasing number of consumers find they have a greater degree of sensitivity to foods that typically contain gluten.

As such, the gluten-free market is skyrocketing, growing in double digit CAGR and projected to reach $7.59bn by 2020, according to MarketsandMarkets.

Study:

Detection of Gluten in Gluten-Free Labeled Restaurant Food: Analysis of Crowd-Sourced Data

Authors: Benjamin A. Lerner, Lynn T. Phan Vo, Shireen Yates, et al

American Journal of Gastroenterology: May 2019 - Volume 114 - Issue 5 - p 792–797

doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000000202

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