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Gluten-free food labels reviewed by FDA for trust issues

Lana Bandoim's picture
Gluten-free food labels

A new study reveals that gluten-free labels on food products can be trusted in 98.9 percent of the cases. The majority of the items lining grocery shelves and claiming not to contain gluten are following the FDA guidelines. However, people with celiac disease must proceed with caution if they are interested in purchasing a product that is not specifically labeled as gluten-free.


The standard is not to allow more than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten in a product, and the brands that comply with this guideline are allowed to call their products gluten-free. The FDA recently made the rules stricter, and the response from the celiac community has been positive. Now, a study from Food Chemistry exposes the truth behind food labels and gives consumers a better understanding of the risks.

Researchers found that 98.9 percent of the products they tested met the FDA rules for gluten-free labels. This means that the items had less than 20 ppm of gluten. Although this is positive news for people with celiac disease who depend on these labels, there is another aspect that needs to be considered. Food products that were not labeled as gluten-free but did not have obvious sources of the protein in the ingredient list were a problem. They found that 19.4 percent of these items had more than 20 ppm of gluten.

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People with celiac disease have learned to read labels and ingredient lists with caution. Now, they may want to think carefully before purchasing a product that does not specifically indicate it is gluten-free. Unfortunately, examining the ingredient list for sources of gluten is not enough to protect someone who is sensitive to the protein. Recent research reveals that these products can have high amounts of gluten that can create problems for people on a restricted diet.

Read more about celiac disease:
Celiac disease apps help create gluten-free meal plans
Saving money while on a gluten-free diet: Celiac disease support

Image: Ongjulian/Wikimedia Commons



Need more gluten free recipes! :)
98.9 looks good on paper but for celiacs it isn't enough.