Food Labelled Gluten Free May Still Contain Gluten

Warnings and Advisories

Author: The University of Western Australia
Published: 2016/10/03 - Updated: 2020/04/26
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Study finds some foods labelled gluten-free do not comply with Australian standard that requires GF-labelled foods to contain no detectable gluten. Coeliac disease (CD) is the only common disease for which strict dietary compliance is the sole treatment: the 'gluten-free' (GF) diet. We recommended that Australian authorities revise the current Australian standard of 'no detectable gluten' to 'one ppm or less'...

Introduction

How Much Gluten is in Food Labelled Gluten Free?

Main Digest

A study by The University of Western Australia of foods labelled 'gluten-free' published this week in the Medical Journal of Australia has found that some produced overseas do not comply with the Australian standard that requires GF-labelled foods to contain 'no detectable gluten'.

Coeliac disease (CD) is the only common disease for which strict dietary compliance is the sole treatment: the 'gluten-free' (GF) diet.

Sensitivity to gluten varies between CD patients, with levels in food less than one part-per-million protecting most patients.

Despite this, international food codes only require foods labelled 'gluten-free' to contain less than 20 ppm gluten.

To find out how much gluten was present in imported GF products, research led by UWA Clinical Professor Geoff Forbes purchased 169 GF-labelled food items manufactured overseas from four retailers in Perth, Western Australia, to test them for gluten content.

The countries of origin were:

The food categories included:

Gluten was detected in 24 (14 percent) of products, but at very low levels in all.

Twenty items had detectable but unquantifiable levels of gluten (less than 1 part per million), and four had quantifiable levels (three with 1.0 ppm and one with 1.1 ppm).

"Our findings have important implications. Firstly, despite tiny traces of gluten being found in 14 percent of the foods tested, CD patients can confidently consume GF-products purchased in Australia," Professor Forbes said.

"Secondly, a marked tightening of international GF standards is readily achievable by industry."

Professor Forbes said the study also showed that standards in Australia were impractical.

"We recommended that Australian authorities revise the current Australian standard of 'no detectable gluten' to 'one ppm or less' as it is not practical or reasonable for industry to comply with the current Australian standard," he said.

Attribution/Source(s):

This quality-reviewed publication was selected for publishing by the editors of Disabled World due to its significant relevance to the disability community. Originally authored by The University of Western Australia, and published on 2016/10/03 (Edit Update: 2020/04/26), the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or brevity. For further details or clarifications, The University of Western Australia can be contacted at uwa.edu.au. NOTE: Disabled World does not provide any warranties or endorsements related to this article.

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Cite This Page (APA): The University of Western Australia. (2016, October 3 - Last revised: 2020, April 26). Food Labelled Gluten Free May Still Contain Gluten. Disabled World. Retrieved July 18, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/emergency/advisories/gluten-food.php

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