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FDA has published a new regulation defining use of the term “gluten-free” on food CPG packaging. This will provide a uniform standard definition for the term.
Details on the new regulation have been published in the Federal Register (21 CFR Part 101).
“Adherence to a gluten-free diet is the key to treating celiac disease, which can be very disruptive to everyday life,” said Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, commissioner, FDA. “The FDA’s new ‘gluten-free’ definition will help people with this condition make food choices with confidence and allow them to better manage their health.”
This new federal definition standardizes the meaning of “gluten-free” claims across the food industry. Use of the term requires that the food meet all of the requirements of the definition, including that the food must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The rule also requires foods with the claims “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten” to meet the definition for “gluten-free.”
FDA recognizes that many foods currently labeled as “gluten-free” might already meet the new federal definition. Manufacturers will have a year after the rule is published (August 5, 2014) to bring their labels into compliance with the new requirements.