Food Business News - August 16, 2011 - (Page 30)

Washington Gluten-free labeling in the spotlight F.D.A. reopens comment period on gluten-free labeling regulations Continued from Page 1 report titled “Health hazard assessment for effects of gluten exposure in individuals with celiac disease: Determination of tolerable daily intake levels and levels of concern for gluten.” The F.D.A. indicated a reason for reopening the comment period for “glutenfree” was to encourage comments on the data it contains, including whether that data should affect the final rule on “gluten-free” labeling, and if so, how. The chief criterion proposed in 2007 and that the F.D.A. upholds going into the new comment period is that foods bearing the claim “gluten-free” may not contain 20 parts per million (p.p.m.) or more gluten. The agency based the proposal, in part, on the available methods for gluten detection. The validated methods may not reliably detect the amount of gluten in a food when the level was less than 20 p.p.m. That remains the case today. The threshold of less than 20 p.p.m. is similar to “gluten-free” labeling standards used by many other countries, including Japan and the European Union. The proposed limit also conforms to the standard set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 2008, which requires that foods labeled as “gluten-free” not contain more than 20 p.p.m. gluten. The F.D.A. also indicated it was concerned that adopting a threshold lower than the less-than-20-p.p.m. limit for a “gluten-free” claim might have “the unintended and unwanted effect of making it more difficult for those with celiac disease to adhere to a lifelong ‘gluten-free’ diet, thereby putting those at risk of developing serious health complications and other diseases associated with celiac disease.” The agency’s concern was based on questions relating to whether manufacturers of multiingredient foods, especially grain-based foods, would be able to comply with a gluten threshold much less than 20 p.p.m. The F.D.A. asserted it did not want food manufacturers to discontinue labeling their products “gluten-free” because they cannot consistently and reliably meet an even lower gluten threshold, nor did it want to discourage other companies from becoming manufacturers of foods labeled “gluten-free” because of a lower threshold. The F.D.A. also sought to avoid a significant increase in the cost of foods labeled “gluten-free,” and it was wary of negatively affecting international trade in foods labeled “gluten-free,” which may affect the availability of certain foods to those individuals with celiac disease. At the same time, the F.D.A. requested comments regarding whether the possible presence of more than 0.01 p.p.m. but less than 20 p.p.m. gluten in a food bearing a “gluten-free” label claim would be a material fact that must be disclosed on the label in order to prevent a “gluten-free” claim from being false or misleading. “For example, an asterisk could be placed immediately after the term ‘gluten-free’ on the food label or in the food labeling with a clarifying statement located in close proximity to that claim in a print size no smaller than one-sixteenth of an inch (e.g. ‘does not contain 20 p.p.m. or more gluten’ or ‘does not contain 20 micrograms or more gluten per 100 grams of food’),” the F.D.A. said. Additionally, the F.D.A. said it recognized there are highly sensitive individuals among those with celiac disease who may not be fully protected if they consume foods containing a trace level of gluten above 0.01 p.p.m. but below 20 p.p.m. The agency sought comments on whether a “gluten-free” claim based on a less-than-20-p.p.m. threshold should be accompanied by a qualifying statement because of this reason. The F.D.A. said it also would find it helpful to again solicit comments about any reasons that would support a gluten threshold level to define, in part, the food labeling claim “low gluten.” This would be in addition to, not in place of, a definition of “gluten-free” for product labeling. “If such reasons exist, F.D.A. is also seeking comments on the specific gluten threshold level and any other criteria the agency should use to define the term ‘low-gluten,’” the agency said. The F.D.A. encouraged all interested parties to offer comments and suggestions about gluten-free labeling in docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 at The docket opened for comments on Aug. 3, 2011, and will remain open for 60 days after that date. FBN JAY SJERVEN 30 FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® August 16, 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - August 16, 2011

Food Business News - August 16, 2011
Ralcorp to buy Sara Lee refrigerated dough business
Whey protein’s emerging mass appeal
Gluten-free labeling in the spotlight
Web Contents
Editorial - Search for insights in P.&G.’s farewell to food
Nestle profi t down in fi rst half of year
Sara Lee income up sharply in year
Pilgrim’s Pride’s second-quarter earnings plunge
Snyder’s-Lance swings to loss in quarter
Consumers taking active role in beverage trends
Cargill recalls 36 million lbs of ground turkey
Consumers more concerned with fat, calories than HFCS
Investment group partnering with Kettle Cuisine
Smart Balance purchases gluten-free food company
Sunsweet acquires Function Drinks
Kraft's big Split
Additional amicable separations
Ralcorp to buy Sara Lee refrigerated dough business
Ralcorp net down on impairment charge
F.D.A. warns Lazy Larry brownies are unsafe
Cott income climbs 19% in second quarter
Lower salad volumes contribute to loss at Chiquita
Restaurant Performance Index above 100 in June
Cost and taste remain barriers for functional foods
Sugar prices strong as supplies tighten
Gluten-free labeling in the spotlight
Health and wellness remains at the heart of oil innovations
Inside the guar gum bubble
Use hydrocolloids to save on costs
Dairy Business News
Conditions remain diffi cult for Dean Foods
Dean Foods suffers loss after litigation charge
Whey protein’s emerging mass appeal
Adding ethical value
Dannon adds Greek Oikos to portfolio
Caribou adds ‘Grown-up Grilled Cheese’ to menu
Beech-Nut to co-brand baby food with Mott’s
Earth’s Best expands Sesame Street line
Popchips introduces jalapeño variety
Kettle Brand launches reduced-fat chip line
Tropical fl avor line extends beyond familiar
SunOpta completes purchase of juice company
Spicetec names director of marketing
Carton protects fragile products
GPC hires scientist, sales representative
F.D.A. has no objection to krill oil’s GRAS status
Birko to buy maker of washing, pasteurizing systems
Ingredient Markets
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - August 16, 2011